Look for the Excuse

When he was a young teenager, Lewis Puller Jr. got himself an afternoon paper route. It was one of those things that his parents insisted on so he could learn responsibility and hard work and all that. And it was certainly good for that. 

It was also good for something even better. One day, Lewis’ bike got a flat tire, so his dad (Chesty Puller, the most decorated Marine in US history) drove him on the route. The next day, it rained, so Chesty did it again. On the third day, Lewis’ dad got the car and drove him again anyway—even though he didn’t need to. Because it was the excuse he was looking for to spend time together. 

These are the excuses we have to look for as well. Yeah, you could have dinner delivered—but going to pick it up is something to do together. Yeah, you could put them in the carpool… but driving the carpool is a chance to see them with their friends. You could buy their clothes online, or take them shopping, just the two of you. You could run on the treadmill, or use it as an excuse to strap them in the bike trailer and go for a ride. You could tell them they have to go to bed, or you could stay up and watch TV together. 

Look for the excuse. Find the opportunities. Forget quality time, as we’ve talked about. All time is quality. In fact, it’s the garbage minutes that you’ll love—maybe even remember more. Besides, it’s not an excuse. It’s an opportunity. 

And you never know how many more you’re going to get

P.S. This was originally sent on January 8, 2021. Sign up today for the Daily Dad’s email and get our popular 11 page eBook, “20 Things Great Dads Do Everyday.”

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