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Rad dad Kris Kerzman is keeping it real

This social media manager and video game enthusiast talks parenting, kid jokes and his wife's soup

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Kris Kerzman is a social media manager, video game enthusiast, husband to Britta and dad of Anton and Edith. Photo courtesy of Penny Burns of Northern Stories

Kris Kerzman is a dad who is as authentic as it comes.

In fact, he’s kept it so real as a parent, he’s written an entire article about poop . . . or lack thereof . And that’s what makes him a rad dad.

“As any parent will tell you, things like constipation, fevers, or sleepless nights are the little things that can build into extraordinary issues with young children,” he said. “It’s also a bit absurd; one of those things they leave off the glossy cover of “You Should Have Kids!” That made it a perfect idea for a parenting column.”

Kerzman is a social media manager at The Forum and has two kids, Edith and Anton, with his wife Britta Trygstad, aka Britta the Photographer, who works primarily with portrait and commercial projects in Fargo. Rounding out the Kerzman family is a corgi named Rosie and an old cat named Pauline.

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Kerzman grew up in Garrison and attended UND, graduating with degrees in communication and philosophy. His initial goal was to get into journalism or work in public radio, but he fell in love with philosophy and wanted to take it to the next level in grad school. At first, he did neither but instead chased a girl down to Fargo in 2003. That girl was Britta and they’ve been married 15 years.

“She is my best friend, a wonderful mother, and the best partner I could have ever hoped for in life,” he said.

Here’s more about what makes Kerzman a rad dad.

What’s the funniest thing your kids have done or said?

Both of my kids love to tell what I call “anti-jokes.” They both somehow came to the conclusion that you can make up a joke on the spot and it’s funny no matter if it’s really funny or not. For example, what do you get when a cat gives you a sandwich? It’s a sandwich, but a cat gave it to you!

They crack me up every time, and I tell them they’re brilliant.

What are your proud dad moments?

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I’m really proud of my kids when I see them treat others with respect and courtesy, because that makes me feel proud as a dad, but I think seeing them enjoy something with pure, unabandoned joy is the most incredible parenthood experience.

People don’t mention this much, but it’s a really cool aspect to parenthood: You get to observe a person’s life from the very beginning. You learn so much about humanity that way.

How about the most rewarding?

Hearing your child voice kindness or understanding toward another person. I know they don’t learn it all from us, but I’m so glad they’re picking it up from somewhere. Also, a hug out of nowhere or getting a drawing they did for you is also pretty rad.

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Kris's kids include Anton, 7, and Edith, 12, both of whom he describes as brilliant and hilarious. Photo courtesy of Penny Burns of Northern Stories

Best parenting tip for first-time parents?

Love your kids. It’s lousy advice, really, but for me, it means building that intentionality towards every interaction with them and making it the basis of your relationship for them. It means saying it to them every day. It means carving out time for them for things you like to do together.

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Oh, and let your kids play video games, and play video games with them.

If you could sum up parenting in one sentence what would it be?

Parenting sucks sometimes and also inspires your life’s most profound, rewarding and joyful moments.

What kind of feedback did you get from your poop article ?

I think I recall some of my kidless friends telling me, “boy, now I’m even more sure I don’t want kids.”

How did you and your wife meet?

We met in college through Britta’s cousin, who lived in the same fraternity house that I did. I came home from work the night of a really bad thunderstorm, and the power was out on the UND campus, so everyone was hanging out outside. I sat down next to her and struck up a conversation, and we talked all night. We’ve been talking ever since, really.

If that thunderstorm hadn’t knocked out the power, I don’t think we would have met.

What are your favorite things about your wife?

Britta has owned her own business for almost 10 years now, and I’m immeasurably proud of her. It hasn’t always been easy for her, but I love seeing her overcome obstacles and keep getting better as a photographer and a business owner.

I’m also a big fan of her cooking. She makes really good soup.

What was your indicator you’ve made it as an official adult?

I heard a saying once: Being an adult means you pretend to be an adult around other people who are pretending to be an adult.

That’s how I knew I made it.

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Britta and Kris met while attending UND and have been married for 15 years. Photo courtesy of Penny Burns of Northern Stories

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