May 8th was a BIG night in our home. It was a night that Princess 1.0 had dreamt about. It was a night she’ll never forget. It was also the night that I was able to keep a promise I didn’t think I could.
For all the times she watched her brother and I attend concerts for Jason Aldean, Zac Brown Band and Thousand Foot Krutch (we follow those guys like they are the Grateful Dead), she always knew that she would have her night too. That’s because every time we would celebrate scoring tickets to one of these concerts, I promised her that if Taylor Swift ever came to town, we were going. Each time she would smile knowing that I have always done my best to keep my promises. A couple of quick tips….
1) If you make a promise about a concert, make sure tickets will be available.
2) If you make a promise about a concert, make sure you can afford it.
3) Taylor Swift tickets are both difficult to obtain and REALLY expensive.
Now I didn’t have the luxury of knowing these 3 tips when I opened my big mouth and made all of those promises. I did my due diligence though. I signed up for Taylor’s little fan club so I got exclusive early access to concert tickets going on sale. When the day came, I was dialed in and ready to lock them down. That was before a saw the prices. Not only were they gone, but what I could find were priced about as high as one of her tour buses. I was crushed. Not because of the concert. Not because we couldn’t see her favorite singer.
Because I couldn’t keep a promise.
Somewhere early in my parenting career, I told myself that I would do everything in my power to keep a promise I make to my kids. It doesn’t matter how big or small. Actually, I would argue that the small promises are as important, if not more important than the big ones. For example, I once drove all over Indianapolis trying to find this cookie place we saw on the show “Shark Tank” because I told them I would pick up some of them on my next trip there. I wanted to come home. It had been a long week. But I found the place and got the cookies.
Because if you keep the small promises, they know you’ll keep the big ones too.
I’m not a model parent. I’ve got a list of flaws a mile long. I might even be totally wrong on this one. We’ll never know until years from now when we look back and see how it all turned out. I just know that a hill I will die on is keeping promises. It’s important because they need to know that…
When I promise “you can tell me anything,” they know I mean that promise.
When I promise “I’ll be there,” they can count on seeing me there.
When I promise that “God has a plan and purpose for their life, even on the darkest days,” I mean that promise.
So cookies and Taylor Swift concerts are promises kept in an effort to make all of the other ones true too. I’ll miss my mark as a dad. Lord knows I already have. But if they know I did everything in my power to keep that promise, hopefully I’m earning their trust that I always will.
Oh, and the tickets? Well a friend stepped up in a huge way for me. He had connections at Nationwide and delivered me 4 tickets to the show….free of charge. She took 2 close friends and celebrated her birthday in a memorable way. Taylor brought the house down and because of the generosity of that friend, I kept a promise to my little girl.
Dads, let’s agree to do our part to keep our promises small and large so when the time comes, they know we mean what we say.