Today, I had the privilege to accompany my oldest daughter on her last field trip of her 3rd grade to Fernhill Wetlands. Earlier this year I also accompanied my twins, Paloma & Citlali, on their 1st grade field trip to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

At Fernhill, I was the only father in our class that attended. Everyone else was a mom. I can’t begin to say how much of a privilege that felt. But also a huge responsibility.

I always hear from family & friends that our girls are so very lucky. The truth is I grew up w/ a single mom for a good portion of my childhood and teenage years. My mom would always confide that she regretted not being able to go on field trips. There was one field trip to Victoria, British Columbia that would have been great to have my mom attend, but simply couldn’t. Depending on the season of the year, she worked in the fields, at a canary packing berries or vegetables, or making grills. She always had to work to provide for my brothers and sisters.

It is these experiences, among many, that have driven me to control my work and schedule. It is these experiences, including one where my mom lost her job making Jansport backpacks that got outsourced to Mexico due to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that have driven me to be an entrepreneur and control my own schedule and work/life balance.

I understand not every parent can do that. Which is why I count my lucky stars.