Thursday, June 28, 2012

Oh, The Expectations.

As a father of two, both old enough that they don't need much hand-holding anymore, I have mixed emotions about the story below.

One side of me says, "Damn it, that's right, Bryan. Give that kid a gift that shows how extraordinary she and her trip has been so far." Another side says, "I pray to God this kid doesn't end up in my writing class. Because she's going to expect me to give her that kind of unconditional support as well."

Here's some flava, and the full article link below (in the manner):

Daily Awww: Dad's amazing grad gift

On behalf of all the parents out there, let me just say: Thanks for nothing, Bryan Martin!

While we're sure your daughter Brenna appreciates the beautifully thoughtful graduation gift you gave her, it also pretty much guaranteed the rest of us will look like slackers with whatever gift we give our own children now.

I mean, what's an iPad, necklace or hearty pat on the back when compared to the lovingly sentimental item you spent 13 years creating for this one special day?

(Side note: This website's list of suggested graduation gifts includes luggage. Luggage.)

On the surface, Martin's gift of a copy of Dr. Seuss' "Oh, The Places You'll Go!" appears nice, if unspectacular. But it gets better once the book is opened.

Inside, the pages are filled with notes and remembrances from each of Brenna's teachers, principals and coaches which her dad asked them to write down at the end of every school year for the last 13 school years since kindergarten.



  1. Okay, I'll bite. My two are teenagers. I have not done this. I am a bad mommy who has a box for both kids in which I unceremoniously dump things like report cards, awards, pictures, etc. I suck. I intend to get to it, I really do. I intend to make a nice scrap book. I have all the stuff and all the pictures. Maybe one day I'll do it!

    But even so, I personally can't bring myself to make fun of this Dad. How sweet. I don't think, somehow, that this kind of showing of love and thoughtfulness is going to bring on a snowflake.

    Am I wrong? I dunno.....

  2. I hope the daughter really appreciates her father. I really hope so.

  3. My high school teachers would have eaten this man alive.

  4. This is nice. But it's one of those things that is only cute if one person does it. But imagine if this catches on. A high school teacher who has six classes of 25 or 30 kids has work to do! Each year gets a stack of 150-180 scrap books in April or so, each with a note requesting that s/he take a few short minutes and record his memories of Speshl Chaild. Groan.

  5. I'm cynical, too, but dad's heart is in the right place. But yes, she'll be a handful in class.

  6. This kind of thing is already becoming commonplace. I'm shocked at what a huge deal kindergarten has turned into. A friend relayed to me her son's last week of kindergarten schedule, which would rival any senior's in high school in terms of social activities and photo opportunities. At his "graduation," every child received a 100% customized book of what happened over the year: pictures of the child at every class event, samples of the child's handwriting and drawing and counting skills at four points, information about the child's best friend in class and favorites, and a personalized note from the teacher. I shudder to think what the first grade teachers in that district have to put up with, whether this tradition continues or not.

    1. I'm surprised by the kindergarten graduations as well. It must be a really recent thing too. I finished kindergarten in the early 90s (I know; I'm a fetus) and there was no "graduation" at all. I don't think I even considered kindergarten "school."

      That said, I did have a graduation for elementary school. It was a simple ceremony though: we wore nice clothes (no robes or mortarboards), marched a quick procession from the front door to the lawn, listened to a couple of selected student speeches (only entries of one page or less were allowed), and then a few students received awards like the President's Award for Educational Excellence and such.

      I thought it was a nice little event, though of course now I can imagine some parents being offended that their student was not properly celebrated because s/he didn't give a speech or win an award...


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