We Are Never As Good As We Think

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This is a parenting story.  And It’s a funny one.

Most of you know Jess and I lead fairly busy lives.  We work and travel quite a bit.

This leads to enough single parenting days.  Dads with daughters will have more appreciation for this than most.

A couple of months ago Jess was traveling for a work trip and I was pulling single daddy duty.  I genuinely enjoy that challenge.

On this day I was motivated.  Motivated to adult like no father before me.

I got up earlier than usual to get a head start on the day.  I read for a bit, knocked out the days emails and got ahead on the next week’s tasks.

Logan woke up then she and I cooked breakfast together and I got her dressed with no issues (in a cute outfit too!)

I even got pig tails in her hair that morning.  They were so good that I got numerous compliments on my pony tail skills from the 9am crew.

(These are mostly moms so I was feeling extra proud at this point.)

We hung out at the gym that day, I coached a couple classes, we went to eat lunch together and made it home in time to eat a good dinner.

And I got to train that day.

All with no potty accidents.  I was crushing it at this point.

We got a bath and had our PJs on before 8pm (that is crazy early in our house)

Jess was flying in that night so I packed up Logan and we headed to the airport.

At this point the pride I have in myself is immense.  Truthfully, I was talking to myself, and Logan, on the ride to airport about how great the parenting day I had just completed was.

For whatever reason Logan didn’t seem to share my enthusiasm about my awesomeness.

Jess’s flight landed on time and we picked her up with no issues.

Hugs, kisses the whole nine.  We pack up and head home.

Jess asked me how the day was and I proceed to tell her how lucky she is to have married me and what a great father I am.

I think I mentioned something about deserving father of the year??

She too, seemed unimpressed as she gave me the usual eye roll.

Then my wife executed what I have come to know as her super skill.  The ability to bring me crashing back to earth with a single question or statement.

“How did Logan do at school today?”………………

I paused for a good 5 seconds while about 258 different thoughts ran through my head as I’m was trying to gather my response.

I decided that complete honesty was in order.

“Dear, I’m going to be perfectly honest with you, at no point today did it cross my mind that she needed to go to school”

My plummet back to reality was swift and harsh.

How did I overlook the one thing that actually needed to happen that day?????

How could I have failed in such dramatic fashion?

And how could I have been so wrong about my parenting performance?

The truth is, we are never as good as we think we are.

And we are never as bad as we think we are.  

We can avoid these peaks and valleys and the delusion of our lives by surrounding ourselves with honest sounding boards.

The truth can be painful, but not nearly as painful as living in the bubble of false reality.

My dad use to tell me “I’ll be the first one to tell you when you’re bad, and the first to tell you when you’re good”

We can’t get too high and too low.  Life is too unpredictable for us to fall into that trap.

We just have to remember this:

No matter how good or bad we think we are, our assessment isn’t truly as accurate as we might think

………..And we have to take our kids to school!

Fern