Ever done the early morning "walk of shame?" Nope, not that one — the one that involves escorting your child to the office after the first bell or sending them in with a note in hand that attempts to explain away their lateness, usually with a very generous stretching of the truth. One dad decided to just lay it all on the line when his daughter was late for school, and the results are hilarious.
Patrick Pipino of Saratoga Springs, New York, is something of a Bruce Springsteen fan. He hit the jackpot with his two daughters — who are 12 and 7 years old — who join their father in his fandom instead of rolling their eyes at his taste in oldies. So he did what any dad would when his favorite singer came to town: He packed his older daughter, Isabelle, in the car, probably put on Born to Run, and went off to the concert.
Naturally Isabelle was a little late for school the next morning, but instead of coming up with a transparent or weaksauce excuse about fevers or missing keys, he went for broke and just told the truth.
What's genius about this is that Pipino manages to kill a couple of important parenting birds with this stone. First of all, that right there is a fancy note — all typed up and pristine. This is no scribbled missive on a torn corner of the spring photo order form you forgot to turn in last week. He clearly has it together.
Secondly, and most important, talk about modeling honesty for your kids. In all seriousness, it's really tempting to make stuff up when you're running late. Heaven forfend the front office staff might actually assume that you do human things like oversleep or run out of milk for cereal or forget to turn the dryer on before bed so now everyone has to wait around for a slightly damp sweater to emerge long after the bus leaves.
Typically it's a pretty harmless string of white lies that we feed our schools, but let's face it: They know. They know when we're full of it. Kudos to this dad for showing his kid that there's no need to lie — yes, even to save face a little — when the truth serves the same purpose. After all, Isabelle's tardiness won't be less unexcused if her dad doesn't just come out with the truth. Now she just sees that when her dad says honesty is important, he really means it.
Besides all that, there's something to be said about taking a little mental health time. School is, of course, very important, but so is the mental well-being of our kids. It's the little things in life that make it enjoyable, and it's our interests that make us, us.
So a little father-daughter bonding trip to a Springsteen concert, an impromptu visit to your kid's favorite museum, bailing on school to watch a play or even just playing hooky to hang out with the kid you rarely see anymore isn't the end of the world. Suffice to say, it might even be beneficial.
It's probably reasonable to assume that Isabelle will remember her evening out with her dad — and the fact that he was so unapologetic about setting it up for the two of them later — for a long time to come!
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