As a kid, I remember the day that report cards came out. No longer were you trusted to bring that piece of paper home in your backpack – they mailed that shit. I’m surprised it wasn’t sent as ‘certified mail’.
The problem for me, was that I was in school while the mail was being delivered, probably their intent – pretty crafty move by the front office.
So I used to play sick that day. I pulled a Bueller.
I didn’t have the resources to invest in the Rube Goldberg-string-tied-around-trophies-rigged-synthesizer-move (mainly because I was highly uncoordinated and didn’t have those luxuries living in the country) but I needed to be there when the 1978 mail jeep pulled up on the mailbox painted with Rural Route #2.
I wasn’t sure how my studies had panned out that quarter and there was nothing worse than hearing about it from my parents before I had any idea of knowing what to expect.
Twenty-five years later, nothing’s changed. Wait… everything has changed.
I’m a grown man now, a father, staying at home with three kids of my own under the age of six. I’m no longer the student, I’m the teacher – at least most of the time.
The difference now is that I don’t have to skip school to intercept that piece of paper that may have shown a C in German or a D in Algebra. The results are right there in front of me, 24/7.
But there are problems with this. Not with my kids, but rather the evaluation process.
Like all ‘work-at-home-parents’ and ‘stay-at-home parents’ I wake up every day trying to do my best – don’t we all?
However, none of us is perfect. Unless we take constructive criticism from our partners, family members, pediatricians or teachers, do we really know what kind of job we’re doing?
When my wife is home, I take a break, pull back and watch my kids from afar.
I take in how she interacts with them, how they communicate and interact.
I observe how they handle different situations – are they kind, are they selfless, do they make good decisions? A big part of this is rooted in what they know, what they see – the morals and values that I try and live by, that I/we try and instill in them on a daily basis.
What I notice most in my observation of my wife, and consequently her of me, is that, as humans we almost always recognize and pick up on the things everyone else is doing wrong. Why?
Why can’t we take a minute and compliment someone on the things they’re doing well? Wouldn’t this give us the emotional boost that we need every now and again? Wouldn’t this make us an army of better parents?
With Father’s Day rapidly approaching, I’m looking back on how I’ve done my job over the past year. I’m looking back on my relationship with my own dad.
Without hearing the thoughts of my wife or those around me, I’d have no idea.
I’ve taken a few minutes to go through my pictures over the last few years and look at everything we’ve done, the moments we’ve shared and the smiles on my kids faces.
A photo posted by Adrian Kulp (@dad_or_alive) on
Do me a favor. Take a minute, go through your own pictures, go through the last year in your head and find a ‘dad’ moment to share. Show me that moment, tell me a story about your husband, your brother the father or your dad.
Let’s celebrate our dads, give them the stage and let them know that they’re #doingood. The story that resonates the most, gets a $250 VISA gift card from Dad or Alive and Minute Maid. Happy Father’s Day to every dad, we love you guys. a Rafflecopter giveaway