Jesse Visciglia reflects on the adventure of fatherhood

Parenting requires work, according to Jesse Visciglia, co-owner of the San Juan Island Brewing Company and father of two young boys, but the effort is well worth it.

“Teaching your children how to be good humans is some of the most important work in the world. Find a way to have fun while doing it,” he said.

Visciglia grew up on the East Coast and moved to the island in 2008. He worked as a middle and high school science teacher for the San Juan Island School District for nine years. With a passion for brewing beer, he and a few friends opened the San Juan Island Brewing Company in 2017.

He, his partner and their sons spend a lot of time outdoors and share a love for skiing and hiking. “I think that skiing has been one of the most consistently challenging and enriching experiences we’ve shared,” Visciglia said.

Not only have these treks been beneficial not just for additional outdoor time, but for exposing them to the big wide world. “For all the tradeoffs of island and mainland living, I think the island offers a level of child safety and security that is rarely found on the mainland. However, regular exposure to the rest of the world (adventures on the mainland) is critical to avoiding cognitive and emotional stunting,” Visciglia explained when asked about the pros and cons of raising children on the island.

Trips off island also led to one of the many lessons his sons have taught him – the invaluable resource of fast-food chains when toting young children,

“Fast food chains are humanity’s greatest accomplishment,” he told the Journal.

Visciglia has always had a love of music, and it has played a large role in his family’s life as well. Recently the trio have been learning to play the drums. “It has been really fun and a great way to engage with music together.”

He hopes to instill in his boys patience and compassion, a lesson his own father worked to instill in him. Fathers today do face different challenges than fathers of the past. Technology/screens Visciglia noted are one of the biggest challenges of parenting in the modern world. “ I was a video game kid of the 80s,” he said, “But, smartphones offer a level of distraction and habit formation (addiction) that far surpasses the Atari 2600 and Nintendo gaming consoles of my childhood.”

The role of fatherhood too has evolved. “In general, it seems like Dads of previous generations had a little more latitude when it came to accountability and degree of responsibility for childcare,” Visciglia noted.

He explained that putting forth an honest effort to raise a good human requires an outrageous quantity of resources, including time, energy and money. “It seems that without dedicated and effective parenting, there is a very high probability that your child will turn out poorly. Even if you do most things right, that probability doesn’t shrink to zero,” he cautioned.

What else has fatherhood taught Visciglia? “Watching beings that share 50% of your genes navigate the trials of life is absolutely wild.”