Harry MacArthur on Fatherhood: ‘With Anne it’s so easy’

Harry on the stage

by MICHELLE SHELDONE, Jupiter Courier, June 19, 2005

A longtime champion of underprivileged children in Hobe Sound, Harry MacArthur never thought he’d make a good father.

“It just wasn’t me,” said the 46-year-old owner of Harry & the Natives restaurant. “I was always a worker. If you can’t spend time with them, you probably shouldn’t have children.”

So for years the restaurateur worked 14 to 16 hour days and wound down with a “couple of beers with the boys,” he said. He also raised money for neighborhood children.

His third wife, Anne Marie, now 38, came along and changed at least part of that. They’re expecting their third child on July 5.

“With the right person, you do it,” MacArthur said. “With Anne it’s so easy. She’s my buddy.”

He was with Anne Marie for the deliveries of their daughter Piper, now 3, and son Wyatt, 2, and describes the experiences with a blend of tenderness and his trademark slapstick humor.

“For what a woman goes through, it’s pretty easy just for the man to show up,” he said. “It’s hard to explain your emotions at the time. It’s probably like one of your greatest accomplishments.

“Then you look at them, and they look like you and you just go, ‘Oh no.’ ”

MacArthur is more financially stable now than he was 20 years ago, he said, but he would be able to relate better to children on a cultural level if he had had them younger. Whatever the difference in age, however, parenting requires patience, he said.

“I’m mellower than I was in my 20s,” he said. “Now I have the patience to walk away rather than go, ‘You know what, you’re killing me.’ ”

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