search instagram arrow-down

High Fives

high fives

Photo taken by Daniel Robert

I could hear her singing in the next room. In a voice that was loud enough to be heard, but soft enough to still be considered a private moment. When my daughter had heard her that some students in her class were going to get to  sing songs from Frozen at her school’s Winter Concert she was excited and nervous. Over the next few days I could her practicing in hopes of possibly landing a part.

Then she got the news. There would be no auditions. The teacher was simply going to assign kids their roles. In a school the size of my daughter’s I completely understood her teacher’s decision. But I also knew that this would make her worry more. Well yesterday morning my wife emailed me that my daughter did not get either of the parts. My heart sank because I knew how this was going to devastate her. As any parent knows, when our kids are sad, we are sadder.

I asked my wife how my daughter took the news.

Her response.

Not well.

I did realize that in the whole scheme of things this was not that big a deal. But to my daughter it was huge and the thought of her sitting in school all day feeling sad broke my heart. I had seven straight meetings to chair and the first one was scheduled to start in a few short minutes. What could I do that might brighten my little girl’s day and let her know that everything was going to be okay?

I sent my wife an email knowing that she would rush it to my daughter as soon as she could.


You see Monday night I came home with a migraine and was forced to go straight to bed. My wife was at a meeting, so this left my daughter to entertain her three-year old brother all by herself. It may sound easy, but to those of you that have ever had, or currently have three-year old children, you understand just how difficult this can be. My daughter stepped right up and was awesome. She cooked her brother a healthy dinner and she made sure that he watched educational television programs. Wow! Sometimes I just sellout and give him a fruit twist and the iPad.

She came upstairs periodically to check on me and to let me know how things were going.  She may have still been a little sad over not getting the part, but I would have never known it. One time when she came up she told me how many high fives she had gotten that day. Her goal was five and she got fifteen! Getting other kids to give her high fives is her new thing. I don’t really how it started or why. But I think it is freakin’ awesome! Counting the number of high fives you get in a day? That is so cool!

My little girl never ceases to amaze me. She actually told me that today she got over four hundred high fives. I figured this may have been a slight exaggeration since fifteen was her previous day’s total. But when I told my wife, she was not surprised.  She said that my daughter gets all the little kids to high-five her when she helps them walk across the street to their school. Wow!

So while I am sure that my daughter may still be sad that she didn’t get a part in her school’s Winter Concert, my heart is no longer heavy. It is not because I know that my little girl is going to be just fine. She has learned that the truest joy in life comes when we are able to make others happy. And that does my heart well.

Oh, and in case you were wondering how my daughter reacted to my email.

Here is the email my wife sent me. I hope it makes you smile.




8 comments on “High Fives

  1. dfgately says:

    such a sweet story Jon!!! thanks!!!

  2. This is a really awesome post Jon, I love the positivity you add to the situation rather than focusing purely on the disappointment of her not getting the part. Moving past disappointment is a terribly important lesson that many adults struggle with because they didn’t have someone like you in their corner helping them grow. Kudos for doing your part to spread positivity throughout the world one kid at a time!

  3. dschug2014 says:

    Beautiful, Jon. You have such an amazing gift, to tell these stories, but more importantly to see them and to make them happen. The Harpers are one special family.

    Thanks for sharing,


  4. I really needed to read this tonight! You and your daughter have ignited a fire in me that I had let squander.

  5. Paul says:

    Jon, Great story…kids are often more resilient than we are as parents! Treasure every moment – the highs and lows make them who they are to become…as my baby turns 21 later this month I have learned your email affirmation will mean more to your Bailey than a moment on the stage! Hoping all is well in DCPS – paul

  6. Joy says:

    I admit to welling up reading this post. As blessed as you feel to be her father, she must feel doubly blessed to have you as her dad!

  7. joprestia says:

    Please give your little girl a BIG HIGH FIVE from me today!

Leave a Reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: