Kyle Corbin with his son Kailen. (Picture by Dominique Bonnett.)
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Professional cricketer Kyle Corbin keeps counting his blessings every day.
One of those is being blessed with a son who is the carbon copy of him. Not only that they share a birthday – May 15. Totally unexpected but an absolute joy.
“He was planned, yes, but not a case like we must have a baby. Even before he came while my then girlfriend was pregnant, I was really excited and couldn’t wait to see him. Then when he came everything fell into place. He was born on my birthday, was christened on Father’s Day. Everything just made sense,” he said.
Kyle said prior to Kailen’s birth, he was never too fussy about celebrating his birthday but that has all changed now.
“I don’t usually celebrate my birthday. People would always be like you need to celebrate your birthdays and all that, it just wasn’t that important to me. I mean yes you acknowledge it, but I find people get too caught up. I’m just chill about it. It was really really special having him born on my birthday so we celebrate that,” the proud father said.
Now that Kailen is here, he is the joy of Kyle and his new wife Claire’s world. Kyle said every day he looks at Kailen he sees more and more of himself and couldn’t be more proud.
“He has a lot of my characteristics. For me I’m the type of person that’s kind of reserved. He’s the same way until he warms up to you. If he doesn’t get a good vibe he’s not going to come to you. The thing that amazes me is how much he loves cricket. I know it may change but he loves to play and he does every morning and every night. I think he idolises me. Everything I do he wants to do. He likes to dress how I dress. If I go and put on a red shirt he goes looking for a red shirt, too. It’s kind of cute but at the same time it’s also frightening but I couldn’t be more proud,” he said.
With the knowledge that his every move is being watched and mimicked, Kyle said it pushes him to be a better person.
“I didn’t have my biological father there everyday as I would have liked. But, I think I turned out pretty okay. There are a lot of things that I wanted to do and experience that I didn’t get to due to that fact. But I did have a few father figures and for me that drives me and motivates me to want to be a better father. Too often you find that daddy lives this place and has to come over and I ideally didn’t want my son to have to deal with that,” he explained.
“Many people have helped me over the years, but there are some for sure who would have stood out in helping me. Floyd Reifer at UWI has been a role model and mentor, Pedro Collins as well. Frank St Hill my cousin. Special mention must go to my friends, all of them. My mother has also been instrumental; she is one who mainly supported me. Also with the fact that my dad wasn’t there she took the burden on. Of course I must mention my wife, Claire. I’m grateful to them all,” he said.
In the interview at the picturesque Gun Hill, where he was married two months ago to Kailen’s mum, Kyle highlighted many other things he liked doing with Kailen as the three-year-old played cricket in the background with his mum, with much excitement.
“My favourite thing to do with him is play cricket until I get tired. Generally we have a bond where we can just lie down and watch something together. Once I love it, and he loves it, we do it. I enjoy every evening picking him up from school and seeing his reaction. Every evening it’s the same reaction and I love that,” he said with a slight chuckle.
Kyle, who is currently pursuing his master’s in tourism and sports management at the University of the West Indies, said he tries extra hard to balance all his duties, including his role as a new husband.
“It’s challenging at times managing all the various roles. But I love everything I do so that kind of makes it a lot easier. It may sound cliché but I have my head on and I know what I want in life and I’m not distracted that much. It is challenging sometimes, don’t get me wrong, but everyone around me understands and helps to make each job a little bit easier. I have a strong support system,” the 28-year-old said.
“My next goal is to complete my master’s. It’s very seldom you see or hear about cricketers excelling in studies, so for me that will be one of my greatest accomplishments apart from having my son. Then I will go from there. I try to keep my goals close.”
As his son continues to grow, Kyle said he wants nothing but the best for him and to see him do good things.
“As he gets older I want for him to be respectful. Whatever he does I will support him and I want him to just enjoy whatever he does. I want him to be selfless, to be someone that people would want to be around and to learn from. Basic things, just be an example for others,” he said while gazing over at his son.
And no matter how old he gets, Kyle wants Kailen to never forget how much he loves him.
“I love him, and I will always be here for him. I will try to be the best father I can be and I will support him in anything he does,” he said adding that, “I don’t know about giving him a brother or sister soon. But who knows.”
The young father offered up some advice to other young fathers.
“You have to put your family at the forefront. Make sure what you do is for the betterment of your family. I think home is the place where you should be the most happy and most comfortable. When you go out and you have a bad day, you should be able to come home and be happy. Make sure you have a happy home and be able to support your family. Be a role model for your family,” he advised. (DB)