IN 2010, Edri Aznar became a father. He welcomed a baby girl and named her Summer Sofia.

“She was born during summer,” the 30-year-old Sun.Star Cebu sports writer said, explaining the reason behind the name. “And summer is the best season of the year, especially for kids, aside from Christmas.”

Summer, four, wearing a green ribbon headband, kept singing “Let It Go,” a song from the popular animated film “Frozen,” during the interview in the living room at their home last Thursday.

Aznar broke up with her mother when Summer was barely two years old.

Since then, they have taken turns taking care of Summer.

But the responsibility of raising their daughter has fallen largely on him, especially after Summer’s mother went abroad to work.

Unconventional

Aznar’s courage to raise his daughter as a single father is rare in an age where women commonly bear the responsibility of rearing a child born out of wedlock.

It’s even rarer to find a man who grew up carefree taking the role of a single parent.

“I was a slacker, a happy-go-lucky person before,” admitted Aznar. “When I became a father, my life took a 180-degree turn.”

Before, paydays for him meant going out with friends or buying things for himself. When Summer was born, his salary went to buying milk, vaccines, and other baby needs.

He was 26 and three years into his career as a sports journalist when he became a father. “I wasn’t prepared. I think it’s true for most first-time fathers,” he said.

With the guidance of their parents, Aznar and his former girlfriend were able to rear Summer well during her infancy.

Aznar said some personal plans like taking the licensure examinations for physical therapy took a backseat when Summer was born.

A physical therapy graduate, Aznar said he still plans to pursue a career in line with his college degree.

Apart from financial adjustments, fatherhood required Aznar to spend less time socializing so he can watch after his daughter.

Aznar said he’s tightening his belt even more now that Summer has started going to school.

No regrets

Summer, who entered nursery last Monday, receives financial support from her mother, who has returned to Cebu. She gets to stay at her mother’s house some days.

Now that Summer is going to nursery, Aznar said he wants her to stay with him during weekdays.

Aside from his desire to be a hands-on father, helping Summer with her daily homework, having her to stay at his house on weekdays is practical because his house is nearer her school, Aznar said.

He accompanies Summer to school at 8 a.m. every day and fetches her at 10:30 a.m.

Aznar said he always finds time to play with Summer, who likes dressing up her dolls with clothes she makes out of clay. Sometimes, they watch cartoons and sports on TV together.

“I don’t have problems with her. She doesn’t throw tantrums, unlike other children her age,” said Aznar.

Not letting fatherhood become an excuse from doing his hobby, Aznar said he still manages to play basketball regularly. He still goes out and drinks with his friends, he added, but not as frequently.

Since Summer was born, Aznar said he has become more responsible, thinking less about himself and more about his daughter.

Fatherhood may have limited his freedom to enjoy his youth, but Aznar said he never wished to turn back the time and be childless again.

“If this is the gift I get in return,” he said, looking at Summer who was watching a video clip on a phone, “there’s no room for regrets.”