This was originally posted by the Marion & Polk Early Learning Hub here.

Quick…pop quiz! Sorry, I know this is a blog and there aren’t supposed to be any quizzes, but we can just chalk this up as another thing that’s weird about 2020 right? Pop quiz…let’s say you have a class and the teacher says 50% of the grade is a quiz, and 50% of the grade is attendance. What grade can you get if you know none of the answers, but you show up and take the quiz anyway? That’s right…at worst you get 50%. What happens if you decide that since you don’t know any of the answers you’re not even going to bother to show up? Right again…this time you get nothing…0%.

While they are both technically ‘F’s’…what’s the difference between the two grades? Well if you’re at 0% you’re likelihood of getting to a passing grade is pretty low considering you’ve got nothing to build on, but, if you have 50%, you’ve got a baseline that you can work from and continue to work hard to learn the answers you don’t know, and if you keep showing up you’re guaranteeing yourself points and improvement each time simply by just coming back time after time and continuing to try.

Doesn’t this sound quite a bit like how this year has gone so far? I mean, 2020 has pretty much not gone at all like any of us would have planned, right? How many of us were thinking and hoping that our children’s schools would be closed down indefinitely, and that nearly all of their interactions with their teachers and classmates would be done through a computer screen? Given that we’re faced with this difficult situation and a very uncertain future there is one thing we can count on…our decision as to whether we keep showing up for our children and encouraging them to do the same.

Let’s lament about the fact that the places where we live have also become our schoolhouses, and then let’s go out and take that first day of school photo with them anyway. Let’s lament that we don’t get to meet our children’s teachers face-to-face this year, then let’s set up that virtual meet and greet with them anyway. Let’s take advantage of the fact that we can send them outside and watch them do PE this year amongst the Autumn leaves rather than inside the school gym. Let’s enjoy some math that focuses on guessing the number of seeds inside an apple and eating the parts of our equation after. Let’s show our kids the value of showing up time and time again…even when we don’t want to…so that they can see the importance of persevering through adversity. Let’s show up for them so that they are inspired to show up as well and keep learning, keep trying and keep persevering. Let’s show up and keep fighting for and raising the generation that is going to survive and thrive through a pandemic. How are you going to show up?

This is fatherhood…