1:50 P.M. Me: “Existentialism can help you figure out what gives you the will, the drive, the courage to continue pushing through all of the challenges you’ll face during your college journey. That’s what experiential values, creative values, attitudinal values, transcendent values are all about. That’s why you’ll tell me about them in Assignment 2…”
(Must wrap-up lecture. Cullen’s pre-K graduation. Must leave by 2:00)…
1:55 P.M. Student: “Professor did you get my email…?”
1:59 P.M. Me: “I’ll be sure to look at that grade again…”
2:01 P.M. Walking to parking ramp. On the road soon.
2:45 P.M. Ms. Ann: “Next we have Cullen…”
Today, I had the pleasure to attend Cullen’s graduation from Roseville Friendship Connection’s Jump Start to Kindergarten program. I went to Braden’s ceremony two years ago and wrote a post about the importance of rituals. This time, however, the change hit me a little harder.
Cullen was born early, and it wasn’t an easy road for him or my wife. I took a leave from work, and we decided, because of the shape our lives had taken, that I would stay home with the boys and not return to full-time career life.
I moved into the wonderful and challenging world of being a full-time dad. Honestly, I find that term disingenuous. Sarah also became a full time mom, AND she worked full time. While some don’t think it’s possible, I know that many dads and moms work full-time AND parent full-time. But I do believe there is an experiential difference when you are not committed to a full time job.
I say experiential very intentionally. There was a difference in my EXPERIENCE, not in the quality, the significance, nor the emotional investment between me and other fathers and mothers. It was different…different because I’m a man, and male culture attaches a lot of meaning to careers. It was different because I was frequently figuring-out my next paycheck. It was different because I’m unique, just like all of us.
Today, however, I didn’t think about the differences. Instead, I thought about how happy I was to have enjoyed the gift of the last five years with my boys. It was wild. It was joyful. It was frustrating. It was rewarding. We were real.
It all came together when Ms. Ann called Cullen up for his certificate and reported the 2 things he said he wanted to be when he grew up.
“Next, we have Cullen. He wants to be a doctor when he grows up and a DAD.”
I couldn’t have asked for a better endorsement.