Patriarch of the month reflects on prestigious award

I picked my daughter up at school last week and the first thing I saw was a note attached to her file. As you may recall, these notes are almost always bad news. A paper in the file means a) your daughter hit someone, so please sign in case we get sued, b) your daughter fell off the slide on her head and now has a bruised forehead, please sign so you don’t sue us, or c) our rates are going up, please sign and pay us now (also, your daughter hit someone, please sign the second line).

This note, however, was different. I opened it to reveal the words, “Dear Mr. Kenny, Congratulations! Your family has been selected as our Family of the Month!”

This was very exciting. Our family has never been selected as anything of the month before. It has been a struggle to get along in life without ever being formally acknowledged as better than other families. In fact, whenever our residential development hosts some seasonal function and are there taking pictures, I always fantasize that our family will be chosen to grace the cover of the development’s monthly newsletter. But then I’ll get the issue and be like, “Pfft! They chose THEM? Why, because they have MONEY? It’s all politics, ya’ know.” So now I feel vindicated.

I still have to wonder, however, what exactly it was my wife and I did to deserve such an honor. Surely everyone at the school knows us, which had to play well in our favor. Granted, everyone knows us because we are in constant communication with everyone at the school re: how to control our daughter’s behavior. When I walk through the hallway there I ask every staff member I see, “How did she do today?” and they all know exactly who I am talking about. Even if it’s their first day on the job, they’ll be like, “Oh, you must be talking about {my daughter}. She did … okay.”

I mean, we’re so close with the school that the front office calls us on the phone all the time. One of us will answer that call with our heart in our throats, and the first words on the other line will be, “It’s not an emergency …” Whew! “BUT, your daughter blah, blah, blah so please pick her up immediately.”

Besides being famous/infamous there, I’m pretty sure they think we’re solid people. We’ve never forgotten to pick our daughter up or anything like that. Plus, if there’s ever an extracurricular function after hours or on the weekend, we never go, so they don’t have to worry about us. Also, I always remember the key code to get in the front door, except for when they change it and it takes me six weeks to learn it and I have to knock on the door like a doofus. I’m glad none of these things have gone unnoticed.

Well, either that or this selection was completely random or, worse, sympathy. Either way, I’ll take it and gladly add it to the ol’ family resume. Now I have to write a family biography and include a photo. I was thinking of having the photo professionally done so other families are well aware that we are Family of the Month this April and not them. You know, one of those pictures where we’re all wearing white flow-y outfits and laughing in a grassy field or on the beach or something. Real classy, like the kind you see in a dentist’s office. I’ll probably send it to our development front office too, just in case they want to use it for something.

Note: This column appears in the 3/14 issue of The Glendale Star and the 3/15 issue of Peoria Times.