He is best known for playing LAPD Detective Marty Deeks on US television drama series NCIS: Los Angeles but offscreen, life is a lot different for actor Eric Olsen. Happily married to actress and Your Zen Mama co-founder Sarah Wright Olsen and proud papa to Wyatt and newborn daughter Esme, this rad dad loves nothing more than whipping up omelettes and smoothies for his happy little tribe. He took the time out from filming his hit show to chat to Children of the Tribe about fatherhood and the beloved family he calls his little bit of perfect.
Photos: Jenny Tunberg
Describe your little family in three words.
Little bit’a perfect
Can you share one of your most treasured moments you've shared with your family so far?
When I have a morning off from shooting, I make breakfast. So, one morning Wyatt and I made omelettes and blended a smoothie and played with his trains. My alarm went off reminding me to get ready. He asked why I had I to go to work. I told him that we have to go to work so that we can make money to pay for all life’s adventures. The money helps pay for food and school and travel to see Papa and Nana and all the things we love to do. He looked at me, and without saying a word, turned around walked into his room, grabbed his little leather purse he uses for the farmers market, walked back to me, unzipped it, took out a dollar, handed it to me and proclaimed, “Now you don’t have to go to work. You can stay with me.” My heart still melts at the honest, beautiful logic of it all.
What has most surprised you the most about fatherhood?
How much joy I find in it. As much as people tried to articulate it, I never understood until I became a father. I’ve never been more in love; I’ve never found more purpose and joy.
How would your closest friends describe your parenting style?
The same as my parents. We lead with love and great communication and the rest of it falls in place.
Which of your beautiful wife Sarah's qualities would you most like Wyatt and Esme to inherit?
All of them! Sarah is a magical creature, with equal parts love, empathy, sensitivity, intelligence and passion.
How has your relationship with Sarah changed since you've become parents?
Obviously watching her birth two giant babies naturally on no drugs made me fall in love with her on a whole other level. I was proud of her in a way that made me tell the guy at the grocery store what she’d accomplished. She’s a warrior; a mama in every sense of the word. You also fall in love with them through the eyes of your children because you see the way they look at her. I’ve found such peace knowing that they have her as their role model of what a woman can be. Also, logistically we are even more of a team. It’s like our whole relationship before children was just summer vacation and pre-season. It’s game time now and all that work we put in to becoming proficient at navigating the obstacles of life and having constructive conflict resolution is being fully utilised.
What does an ideal Sunday look like in the Olsen household?
This isn’t our ideal Sunday, this is every Sunday for the last two years:
7am Wake up
7:15 Smoothie for me and omelette for Wyatt
8am French press coffee wake up with omelette for Sarah
9am Head to Dave and Dani's house
10am Two-hour workout with friends and family
12 Ice bath and sauna recovery
12:30pm Lunch with friends and family
3pm Drive home and Wyatt’s nap.
4pm Reading Sunday New York Times while everybody else is sleeping
5 pm Sunday Night Football
6pm Taco or pizza night.
7pm Sunset family walk
8pm Wyatt’s shower and two books to read and two songs to sing
8:30 Bed for the bears
9pm Game of Thrones, Stranger Things or Homeland hour of TV
10pm Pass Out