Missing School Functions Doesn't Make You a Bad Parent

thanksgiving-schoolI've prided myself on a few things during my tenure as a father, most involving impressive feats of strength and intellect, but some are much simpler than that. It's as easy as being there. I've never missed a school function, meeting or event that my children were involved in, which may not sound like much to some of you, and may sound unimaginable to others. It's all relative.

This week I faced a situation that I could not work around. There were two things at my kids' school that required my presence and I could not attend both. I had to make a decision, and as a result I had to miss one. I didn't like it.


My day was filled with daydreams of my children standing in a room full of families and laughter, their constant glances to the door, and an empty chair with my name written boldly across it. There would be tears. Parent groups would shun me. My children would be scarred.

I think my imagination may have run a away a little. I've been to many events where other parents weren't able to attend, and their kids seemed fine. Sure, they probably would have preferred that their parents had been there, but kids are cool. They get it.

I suppose what makes it so hard to be on the missing end is seeing that smile when you do arrive -- it is the face of sweet happiness, and knowing that something special came and went without that happening, well, that sucks.

My kids, to their credit, had a blast regardless. I know because they told me all about it, and not once did they chastise me for missing it. However, I could feel the implications. The air was thick with them.

How do your kids deal with you missing school functions? How do you deal?

Image via Whit Honea

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