August 2019, I drove my son Gabriel to visit my brother and his family in Kentucky. Dave has two sons, and they both get along really well with Gabriel.
KY is a 12-13 hour drive from my home in Virginia Beach, so even getting an early start it's a long, tiring day of driving. We ended up getting a later start than planned because of Gabriel's asthma acting up, which meant some treatments with the nebulizer, a quick doctor's visit, etc. But get going we did at about 1 pm.
I figured with such a late start I would drive 8 hours or so, then get an airbnb somewhere in West Virginia, then do the final 4 hours or so of driving to my brother's house. Since I'd been up since 5 am, it seemed like a sound plan.
So we made it to one of the towns in western West Virginia (kind of a mouthful, I know) where I had booked an Airbnb. We checked in, then went to Waffle House for some dinner.
It was at the Waffle House that I explained to Gabriel, then 5 years old, that we were going to spend the night in this town, then drive the rest of the way to see his cousins in Kentucky.
Gabriel was not going to hear anything of the sort. He had it made up in his mind that he was going to see his cousins that day, and that was that. He began sobbing at the very thought of staying at the place we had just visited that night, and not being able to see Evan and Aaron until the following morning.
I did my best to explain to him that daddy is very tired, that he needs his rest so he can drive the rest of the way to Kentucky, but I may as well have been talking to the hydrogenated food product melting on my waffle. It was falling on deaf ears.
He then said something that was so dang cute, mere words on the iPhone screen you're reading this email can never do it justice.
In between sobs, and pleading with me to not spend the night where we were, he said, "Daddy, you're not doing your best!"
We ended up driving to Kentucky that night, got in about 1:30 am.
How do you refuse a 5 year old child who simply will not be denied waking up the next morning and playing games with his cousins?
Short answer: You don't.
My son taught me an important lesson there in that Waffle House. No matter how much I've done, I can always do more to finish the job.
Of course I could have put my foot down and said we're done driving for the day. He would have gone to sleep just fine, we would have arrived mid morning the next day and all would have been well. In fact, Gabriel today at 8 years old probably wouldn't be so insistent on arriving in Kentucky that night. That's just the personality he had at that stage of his life.
It was one of those precious moments a father is given for a happy memory, and also a life lesson to pass onto others.
Doing just a little bit more than is expected for our Podcast Artistry™ clients is what keeps me motivated to continue doing it. It's kind of the magic of a service-based business; you can always personalize it, make it something only you would do. Kind of like those Far Side cartoons I mentioned the other day. There are about a kajillion cartoons out there, but there's only one Far Side; and its got legions of berserker fans to show for it.
If you or someone you know is looking to get their name and/or message out into the inter webs, podcasting is a great way to do it, and we've got space for just a few more clients before we need to close the doors for an unspecified period of time.