Parenting Blog

The Acceptance Speech

This would have been far too long-winded, so much so that if there was to be a musical cue to wrap it up, to exit stage left even, we would’ve reached the second song in the ‘no seriously, get the F off the stage right now’ playlist.

But here’s what I would have wanted to say, the lines I was running in my head in the 48 hours leading up to the award ceremony, if I won the Iris Award for Best Dad Blog at the 2018 Mom 2.0 Summit last Friday night at the Langham Huntington hotel in Pasadena, California.

I’m publishing this acceptance speech I didn’t get to give because these fine people deserve to be recognized and thanked whether I won or not. A shiny award isn’t needed to validate their contributions and their immense importance to me as a creative person, friend, husband or dad.

Iris Award Acceptance Speech

Happy 10th anniversary to the Mom 2.0 Summit! Congrats on a decade of inspiration, aspiration, and action item list making encouragement. Thank you to remarkable team that makes this event happen so flawlessly and grow in quality and size each year: The Pacinis, including my blister-brother John, his lovely wife Carrie and their two talented children. To Laura, Samuel, Danny, Steve, Michael, as well as the entire staff of this fine hotel that fed us, kept us hydrated, and cleaned up after us this week. The people behind the scenes too often don’t get enough, or any, credit but none of any of this happens without each and every one of them. Thank you!

Thanks to my wife Jill who has been supporting me in every way possible since the day we met. She believes in me even when I don’t and loves me even when I don’t love myself which is still too damn often. She sometimes thinks she’s adrift but she’s been my rock for almost 20 years. I’m up here without her right now but there’s no chance I’m up here without her. Ya know?

Thanks to my two daughters who conspire to make everything I see and hear brighter and more joyous, and who, as a result, infuse everything I write, experience, think, photograph and most importantly feel with more love, humor, color, and beauty than I’ve known in my life, more than I’ve ever thought possible. They’ve gifted me the chance to live this wonderful life and it is a debt I’ll happily be paying off for the rest of the time I’ve got.

Thank you to Kia, our Iris Awards presenting sponsor tonight. Thanks to John and Eden and JB and James, thanks to the hard working DriveShop team — Mark, Cinnamon, Dave and the rest of the gang — and to my extended Kia Family, some of whom are here with me tonight. Hi Clarissa, Shelley, Jillian, Summer, and all. They each have given me the artistic license to tell my own stories in partnership with a great brand who doesn’t interfere, auto-correct, or feed me lines to regurgitate, a sense of friendship I’ve rarely known and a nurturing community in which I have been welcomed and accepted, and they have also given me support and love in spreading my words and photographs into nooks and crannies I myself could never have hoped to reach. It is an honor to be in your company.

Thank you to the dads, my boys scattered across North America (with a few in Australia and the U.K. too). Jason, Mike, John, Charlie — I see you (not really, these lights are insane) and I love you. Thank you guys for continually raising the bar for what a dad’s voice can sound like, for proving every damn day that, like Brené Brown says, vulnerability and courage do indeed go together like a fine red wine (or a fine room temperature craft root beer) and gourmet cheese board, and for showing that a father’s love for his girls and for his boys can and should look the same.

Thank you to everyone who voted for me. I humbly accept this Iris Award for Best Dad Blog and can’t wait to be with you all in Austin next April to present this same award to one of my friends.

Finally, to Doug French who had to cut out early to get home and see his oldest boy perform on a stage of his own (ain’t that fatherhood for ya?!): [waves hands wildly and weirdly in the air] this wacky world just keeps getting more bizarre!

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7 Comments

  1. You’re a winner in my book. Congratulations on a great year of writing and sharing your world with us. Keep it up friend.

  2. For what it’s worth, I’m glad that the trio of awards wasn’t yet completed for you. It means we’ve got you locked in for at least one more round.

  3. How thoughtful and non-pithy. 😉

    Love u Jeff, your writing, and your friendship.

  4. Thank you so much, Brent. I love you too, brother.

  5. Hah, I’ve got one good year left in me, Alice!

  6. This means a ton, Jason!

  7. I always love reading your writing. Thanks for being thoughtful, truthful, and always inspiring and I have a feeling you’ll be needing a version of these words on stage soon!

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