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2015-09-14 07.41.31

My parents divorced when I was 6 or 7. It was very confusing.

I think I sucked as a father for the first 5 years. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. There are books about it but I wasn’t a reader at the time.

My only job in life, is to keep her off the pole. – Chris Rock[1]

I think I am a stereotypical guy sometimes.  I like to figure things out. That’s OK if I am assembling IKEA furniture but I probably should not have toyed with misplacing a part as a dad.

One of my current dad duties is the morning drive to school. It’s about a 10 mile loop that takes an hour before I get to work. Some days, it feels like forever.

Out the door by 6:50.  5  minutes late means another 15 minutes due to traffic. The kids read or study for tests the whole way. Why not knock out some homework, right?

The Toll
There is a toll to exit the car. Each day, I get a hug and a kiss, and a “love you” before getting out of the car. Many parents get this. I watch them. Some don’t get this and I secretly judge them as if I am better. I know I’m not. I’m just lucky.

Sometimes the drop off line is horrendous. The angles of approach, speed, and strategy of each driver varies to insane degrees. There are the most courteous parents and the possibly intoxicated.

The rules are: dump your kids and get out of the way.

The Bonus
My kids exit the back seat with their backpack and walk off. I break the rules and don’t hurry to get out of the way.  About 20 steps later, they turn, smile, and give me a little “bonus wave”.

My daughters are 10 and 13. I grew up with 3 older sisters so I feel like I have a slight understanding about how little I will know over the next 8 years.  One day, the tolls and bonuses will wane.

For now, I cherish the bonus wave.

They pay the toll and then add a little more. I wonder how much better things would be if everyone just added a little more?

Have the courage to give it a little extra. It could be a smile, a wave, or the “pow” in your next project. Have the courage to make your art a little better.

I think I’m a better father now.

I had been thinking about this and whether it was worthy of a post. Sarah Elkinspost on 9/1/15 gave me the courage to hit publish.

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[1] Chris Rock – Baby Girl