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Be the one who stands out from the crowd, your kids want to see you.
Today I had a choice: Be there for myself or my children.
As I shared in this piece, I’ve taken on a new job that has me doing heavy manual labor for 10+ hours a day, four days a week.
Today, we had a deadline to hit, and I went all in on cutting trees, carrying logs, winching, chainsawing, trudging through the river, cutting and pulling roots, etc…
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A reward for the effort and hitting the deadline was an early departure. I was sending a message to the men in FoE on Slack, and I had to rest my wrists on my lap to type it; that’s the tiredness I’d entered…
As soon as we were released, I hopped in my truck (desperately needing a shower), and I took a 45-minute drive to catch what was left of my son’s basketball game and surprise my daughter by joining her and my wife in the stands.
Yeah, going home and resting wasn’t even a fucking option.
I walked in there with cut-up black hands and boots caked in river mud.
Forget taking the path of ease and comfortable living.
I’m all in on what I stand for, and while I know most fathers would have chosen otherwise, I’m built differently. I want to see more parents taking this approach to their children’s lives. Instead of complaining about having to do anything for your child, like pick them up from practice, drive to a game, etc.
Why not consider yourself privileged for the opportunity?
I could not have been more tired today, and still, I was energized enough by the thought of my family to get my ass in gear. We all should be capable of flipping that switch for those we love. I’m fine being the man people don’t understand, the savage and machine, the mother fucker who manifests infinite energy. I would love to see more fathers take this approach; it would improve the entire world overnight. I know I speak to dads, it’s a default because I am a dad, but this goes for mothers as well; those kids want to see you in the crowd, stand out as the parent who fights to be there for his kids, not the one fighting to get away.
No level of fatigue will keep me from showing up, and there is no excuse I would accept from another. You have a job to do, do it with your all. For once in your life, go all in on the title you hold, including parent.
- Zachary Small
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