BISMARCK, N.D. – Mack Davis may be only 2 years old, but his father, Cooper, already has begun the habit of listening to sad songs about his son packing up his things and leaving the household when he turns 18 years old.
Cooper is celebrating his second Father’s Day on Sunday after spending the previous 22 years of his life looking up to his dad, Chad. As he gets older and has a son of his own, Cooper has begun to realize just how special being a dad truly is, and how hard it is going to be when his son does indeed one day grow up for good.
“Before, you are thankful you have a dad to share it with, but when you are a dad, heck, all I can do is drive down the road and listen to sad songs and think in 16 years he is going to be driving away and leaving me to go do the same thing I am doing now,” Cooper said.
In fact, with every bull riding event the reigning World Champion and his wife, Kaitlyn, bring their son to, it appears to be more and more likely that little Mack maybe wants to follow in his dad’s footsteps someday.
Papa Davis is pretty excited about that, and he is more than OK with Mack finding a new passion later on in life if that ends up being the case.
Cooper sat Mack down on a bull last week in the practice pen – one Cooper “knew wasn’t going to do anything – and Mack was thrilled.
“He loves it and eats it up,” Cooper said. “Anytime you pull a bull rope out, he is putting on spurs and I’ll be dang, but we are going to have a bull rider I think. It is kind of scary, but exciting. It is exciting because he looks at is as my dad does it and he looks up to me.
“I could care less if he rides bulls. It is cool that he sees it as something I do and maybe it will be something we can share when we are older.”
Cooper and Mack’s father-son relationship grows stronger with every passing day.
His own life as a father has put in perspective just how special his own parents, including his mom, Kim, were to him growing up.
“I used to always think my parents were crazy getting all emotional when I was graduating high school, but, heck, I get pretty emotional just thinking about it,” Cooper said. “I don’t want Mack leaving me.”
Shoot, even late-night cuddles are becoming harder and harder to get with Mack.
“Now he wants to go sleep in his own bed and he drives me nuts,” Davis said. “I want to go in there and get him. He doesn’t want to anymore, it makes you pretty sad.”
Earlier this year, the Davis’ were dealt a terrifying hand when Mack went through a health scare following the Iron Cowboy event in Arlington, Texas.
RELATED: Davis: ‘My son is what I live for’
The best gift Cooper has these days is his son’s health, and Mack and Kaitlyn accompanied Cooper to Vinita, Oklahoma, on Saturday night for Cooper’s $25,000 matchup against two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney at the Hometown Dodge Challenger PBR Touring Pro Division event.
Mauney wound up winning the event with a 91-point ride on Cochise as Davis was bucked off by Seven Dust.
For now, Mack is still just happy for his dad showing up and being a cowboy in the toughest sport on dirt.
“He doesn’t know when I win or lose,” Cooper said. “It is cool for him to be excited about seeing bull riding.”
Cooper then adds before laughing, “Heck, J.B. Mauney is his favorite rider like every kid. I am not even the favorite in my own household.”
Having his family with him on the road means the world to Cooper.
You can’t look too far in the arena throughout the year and not find Mack and Kaitlyn cheering their favorite guy on.
“Absolutely. With any sport or anything, you can take things from bull riding and say, ‘Dad always put hard work into this and brought his family along with him,’” Cooper said. “As long as he can take away that you can put your hard work in, but keep your family in order, than I have done my job as a dad.”
Most of all, Cooper expects Mack to continue learning how to become a good, young gentleman.
“I just want him to have good morals, values and be a good Christian,” Davis said. “Treat everybody with respect. He is already learning how to not be a stranger and walk up to people and shake their hands.
“I think we have him on the right track.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
© 2018 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.