Archived Story

Busy father postpones daughter’s essay

Published 11:33am Thursday, September 1, 2011

I’m a bad father.

Well, maybe that’s a little too harsh. A better description might be I’m a busy father, who sometimes neglects to do things for his children he probably should.

For instance, a couple of weeks ago my daughter, Amelia, came home from her first day of school with a writing assignment. This didn’t seem to be out of the ordinary at first, but she explained to me this particular assignment was for the parents. Apparently, her teacher wanted a father or mother to write a brief essay on their child as a way to help the teacher get to know the student in a more intimate way, rather than simply “discovering” what the young person was like as the school year progressed through the upcoming weeks.

Upon hearing about this assignment, my wife thought it was a great idea and instantly nominated me to complete the task. After all, I write for the Outlook on a consistent basis and it only seemed natural for me to do the work.

My reaction wasn’t as positive. I had just completed a column and two editorials that week and didn’t feel like writing any essay. So, I conveniently “forgot” about the task until it was too late to turn it in. I reasoned the assignment wasn’t for points, so it’s not any big deal.

Boy, was I wrong.

My wife was mortified by my apparent lack of judgment and my daughter was disappointed, even though she had mercy on me and stated it wasn’t that important anyway.

Now that my family (especially my wife) has made sure I’ve learned a lesson in this episode, I’ve decided to make amends to my daughter by writing the essay now. Even though it’s two weeks late, I hope her teacher will accept it and maybe give me a D instead of the failing grade I deserve. So, without any further ado, here it is.

My daughter, Amelia, is an interesting young lady with a number of unique qualities. Probably the most important thing you can say about her is she is a very caring person. She loves her family and friends and I’ve observed her on many occasions reaching out to them when they are hurting. She really has a unique desire to make things better for those who are suffering.

She also is very intelligent and loves to learn about the nature of things. At a young age, Amelia would ask me questions about God, existence and purpose, which are philosophical inquires by nature. I thought at the time this was unusual for someone so young, Right now, she wants to be a teacher, though I believe she will change her mind as she grows older and discovers new interests.

Recently, my daughter has displayed a keen interest in music. She has started playing the clarinet at school and she has even developed enough courage to sing in church, even though this was very difficult for her to do. You see, she is very shy by nature; so standing up in front of a crowd is not an easy task for her.  But, she did it anyway and I’m very proud of her.

Even though Amelia has several redeeming qualities, she also has some things she needs to work on. She fights with her brother too much, she sometimes lacks patience and she also can be very stubborn at times. But, I guess you can say that about a lot of people, including myself.

In conclusion, I believe Amelia will be a fine addition to Alexander City Middle School this year.

By the way, she also has a very forgiving nature, which at this moment I believe is the most important quality she possesses.

Roger Steele is general manager and advertising director of The Outlook.