Decisions, Decisions

Dear Eleanor and Wesley,

I am sorry. It has been a tough month for your future. Recently, our state passed a budget to substantially reduce funding for education. Just yesterday I saw another study that ranks the Arizona education system as 49th out of 50 states based on a cocktail of measures. That means there are 48 other places in our country that could provide a better garden bed for your growing mind. These places could capture your curiosities, inspire your imaginations, and challenge your intellect in ways you may never experience in an AZ school.  Yet, we continue to choose to live here.

It is a decision that you will live with for the rest of your life, and so will I. If only we could leave it at one decision. As I experienced the weight of this particular decision this week, I started to reflect on just how many decisions show up on our plate with your two names on them. Decisions about swim lessons, water safety, sleep schedules, activity involvements, discipline approaches, the right attire, snack indulgences, weekend festivities, and yes of course I would like to be the dad that plays with you unendingly but no I will not flip you over the 100,000 time. 99,999 is plenty.

I make more decisions that impact you directly and indirectly than I could ever dream of keeping track of. Some, I clearly get wrong. Occasionally, I get a few right. But most of the time, it is almost impossible to tell. I’m sure by the time you are reading this you will have a crystal clear idea on exactly which ones were which. Just know this, whenever I can I let your Mom decide, for she is unerringly attuned to your every need. She is seriously amazing. But she and I are a team, and that means I also have to pull my weight. Whatever decisions I have made, I made because I am here and they are mine to make. A dad who is being a dad cannot just sit on the sideline and watch his kids’ life go by. So I keep on deciding, hoping that when we add up all those decisions, the sum will reflect a fraction of the heart they came from.




  1. Having worked with youth in both Arizona and Oregon for at least two years in both states, I can, without a doubt, say that Arizona’s education system is no less that one billion times better than Oregon’s.

    Well, at least in the areas I lived.

  2. That is interesting to hear. Unfortunately, Oregan is listed as 48, only one position better. Feels like some strange tangent of the pot calling the kettle black. Either way, neither system is particularly inspiring.

  3. “the sum will reflect a fraction of the heart they came from”

    Pretty sure you articulated every parent’s primary day-to-day concern in half a sentence. Incredible.

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