It's almost the end of the journey (for most of my clients; believe it or not - some have just started) and I'm afraid that I might not want to let go of some of these precious moments that I have shared with these wonderful families.
What I do want to talk about, is how great they have all have been, at a very personal level.
One memory I want to share is that of a father who has taken a passive/active role in this process. Most fathers do not involve themselves when they work with me, but this is one father who definitely makes me feel like I have faith in this world by observing him lead his family.
This evening I had one of my final conversations with him. We talked about the journey and how far we've all come and all the hiccups down the road. This father has worked very hard in his life and despite all of that, he spares no expense when it comes to making either myself or my staff feel important when we are working with his children. He is what I would call, "Mr. Genuine Dad". As we wrapped things up, he told me that as he was beginning to think about their future, he came across some more important aspects of their social development.
The conversation was very emotional (for me) and real and there was not a filter between the words that were exchanged between us. I asked him why he chose the group of schools for his children and his response was: "After looking at some of these schools, I took a look at my children and wanted them to feel secure and normal. I want them to know what the world is like and not the bubble that most people would like for their children to be in here in Atlanta. I want them to have the same experiences that everyone else has - and not just the chosen few". It took me a bit of time to let that all sink in and then I thought to myself:
This is a real dad. He knows his children and he knows the world that we live in. Unlike other parents, he is sensible in his approach and does not let the world adjust to his children but rather his children adjust to the world. I felt that at the end of the day, he was not planning on sending them to a school so that he could show off the decal on his car (or SUV, I don't pay attention anymore), he wants to send his children to a school that would bring out the best in them and in turn, the best in our community. He's a true father that pays attention to the needs of his family, and not his ego.
This dad has been an inspiration for me to follow in the next few years of this process. I've noticed that his traits and mannerisms have been found in many of my other clients who are fathers. They love their children so much that sometimes you only see it when you pay attention.
I'm extremely proud of the group that I've worked with this year and you all know that I've tirelessly made sure that we get the results that you want. To all of my "Mr. Genuine Dad" clients, it has been an honor working with you!