Faron Jr. and Skylor play on the rope swings outside of their home as their father pushes them.
"When I first had my first three kids, back in the 70’s I thought that was it. I wasn’t thinking about having another wife or more kids and then more kids. It never entered my mind. You don’t regret having your kids. That’s actually the only thing you’ve got to show for in life other than the memories of the ones that are gone," Faron said.
Faron changes Skylor's diaper on the make-shift bed in their living room. Faron has had to delay pre-school for Skylor because Skylor has had difficulties with potty training as well as concerns about his speech development.
After waking him at dawn for the school day, Faron has a discussion with Faron Jr. about his behavior in school and the expectations he has set. Faron gets the kids ready each day, brushing their hair, putting their shoes on and getting them dressed before he drives the 7 miles between Faron Jr.'s school and their home.
Faron holds the daily dosage he has to take for the arthritis causing his constant back pain. After working a variety of physical jobs his entire life he say it is now wearing him down. New health problems have left him feeling weaker than usual, but because he can't find trustworthy childcare, he hasn’t had the time to visit the town physician.
Faron takes a moment to rest his eyes after a long day when his kids were actively playing. He often struggles to keep up with them and takes on a more observant role.
"I get tired with everything. A lot of times they’re out of control or off tearing up something. It’s a young persons job. If you was in your twenties or thirties you’d be able to cope with stuff like that but I have to deal with it. What else ya gonna to do," Faron said.
Skylor jumps on his father's back to give him "little kissies."
"You've gotta be close with your little ones. When your kids get grown you lose them. You lose that certain part of them," Faron said.
Faron paces back and forth gathering wood for an open pit fire after a day of logging with his oldest son, Darrin. He and Darrin depend on the 55 acres of land for wood to heat their homes.
Despite complaints of back pain and feeling sickly, Faron cuts a stockpile of wood for the wood stove that functions as the main heat source for his home.
"My mom and dads all gone and everything’s all gone. I’ve got my dads land here, all 55 acres, and it takes a lot of work to keep it going," Faron said.
Faron takes a moment to step out onto the porch after a day without the kids around. At random, the children's mother will take them to town to visit but will often bring them back home within hours. Faron describes the tense and often verbally aggressive relationship with the children's mother as emotionally draining.
Faron's oldest son, Darrin Cox, 40, plays catch with Skylor as Faron and Faron Jr. discuss plans for school. While Darrin shares the property with his father, their relationship is strained and distant and Faron has retained most of the responsibility for taking care of the land.
Leaning by what he refers to as his "thinking window", Faron takes a few moments of silence as the kids watch television.
"It scares me thinking at my age you don’t know how much longer you got left. I’m just hoping I live long enough to see the little things get on their feet. You often wonder what your kids are going to do or how they’re going to react when you’re gone," Faron said.