Dad's Tardy Excuse Note Is A Parenting Win

by Ashley Austrew

A dad’s hilarious note excusing his daughter’s tardiness after a rowdy Bruce Springsteen concert is going viral.

We all have those mornings where we’re running late to school drop-off, but not everyone comes up with an excuse as straight-forward and hilarious as this dad’s. Patrick Pipino of Saratoga Springs, New York, took his family to see Bruce Springsteen on Monday night, which resulted in them running a little behind schedule the next morning. Springsteen played for over three hours — something the Times Union called “a sprawling show, even by Springsteen standards” — so when it came time to write a note excusing his 12-year-old daughter’s tardiness, Pipino decided to just be honest.

“Please excuse Isabelle’s tardiness to school today,” the note begins. “In the interest of honesty, I feel it my obligation to be straight with you all as to the reason. Last night Isabelle was lucky enough to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in Albany, and darned if he didn’t play for three and a half hours.”

Pipino goes on to say that his explanation might not be the world’s greatest excuse, but asks, “Have you ever wondered how many kids would be late — or miss school outright — if God were suddenly to appear? It’s something like that.”

The note was posted on the WNYT Facebook page, where it quickly amassed over 2,000 shares. Dozens of people applauded Pipino not only for his sense of humor, but for teaching his kids the importance of honesty and not shirking your responsibilities just because you had a long and crazy night. Wrote one, “There are adults who went to the concert and called in ‘sick’ to work today. This dad not only told the truth but taught his daughter that telling the truth is the way to go.”

It might seem unorthodox to take your kids to a three hour concert on a school night, but almost everyone can recall a time like this when their parents allowed them to “break the rules” and how much fun it was. Pipino tells ABC News both of his kids love Springsteen and have since they were toddlers, so for them it was a bonding experience and a chance to see one of their heroes. Plus, late or not, they still made it school the next day, so I’d say that counts as a win in any parent’s book.

It’s important to teach kids the value of showing up for school, but it’s just as necessary to teach them when the occasional monumental life experience is worth pulling yourself away from your responsibilities. This dad wasn’t asking for preferential treatment or attempting to make excuses. Rather, he made a choice to enjoy a night with his kids and made it clear that they’re willing to accept a tardy as a consequence. Certainly Isabelle made memories that will last her a lifetime, including the realization that she’s got one pretty cool dad.