One of our dear family friends, Angie, who taught Elliott for two years and is currently a teacher at Ian's school, recently sent Katie and I the photos below. And photo credits to Angie Hoggan for all of them.
Obviously the pictures aren't of Ian performing in the classroom. It's field day (Ian's favorite subject). Still, I'm going to say this might be the best school report any of our boys' teachers have ever sent home. It probably shouldn't fire me up more than straight A's or spelling bee victories or science fair success, but it does.
A lot more.
Maybe that's because that's how I see life. It's a tug of war. One minute the momentum is absolutely going your way - I can't be beat! Then out of nowhere life starts dragging you through the mud, face first and feet wildly flopping in the air behind you. In that moment, you can begin thinking yourself through the protocol of what to do next, or you can instinctively jump to your feet and start fighting back.
Or at least pulling back.
No, I'm convinced, make me choose between a picture of a straight A report card or any of the pictures above and I'll take any one of the pictures above.
Don't get me wrong. It's not like I don't value education - don't want our boys to apply grit to their grades. I do. But I've seen too many people who know everything there is to know about the world only to have no idea how to respond when the world doesn't treat them the way they've been taught it will or should.
Of course, the obvious benefit to my philosophy, especially given it's Fathers Day, is there are many limitations on just how smart I can teach our boys to be. My smarts reach a dead end quicker than most dads. But make no mistake, there's no limit to how much grit I can pour into them. So maybe I'm just playing to my fatherhood strength, but that's exactly how I'm going to keep playing.
Happy Fathers Day to all my dad friends out there.