Is dad playing favorites?🤔 This Cypress dad explains the good fun behind the signs he made for the son who achieved a valedictorian title and the other who did not.
- We're doing well. You know, Brian will be graduating from school Tuesday, the day after tomorrow. And he just graduated from A&M two weeks ago. And we just had a party yesterday for grads, both kids, so it's been an interesting week.
- Awesome. And then when I was driving into your neighborhood, I came in from that side over there. Describe your neighborhood for me. Like, when I drove in, it looks pretty lively. Other people have signs.
- Different stuff. What is your neighborhood like?
- I've been living here for close to 20 years now, so both of these kids just grew up in this area. And you know, all my friends, neighbors, they're amazing people. You know, if you ask me for something negative about this subdivision, I cannot find one. It's very friendly people, very nice people. So you know, I mean, I really like this place.
- But it's not strange for people to express themselves with signs or different--
- Oh, no, no, no, no. In this sub-- so here, you know, Cypress is basically a sports town, you know. So almost every house, you will see sports signs. And at graduation time, you'll see lots of graduation signs everywhere. And if you look around, you know, because of Memorial Day, almost every house has the American flag there. That's quite common here. That's normal here.
- Tell me about your signs.
- Oh, boy. You know, so basically like, as I said, he was graduating. And I had an idea that, you know, he's going to be valedictorian. So you know, day after his graduation, I said, hey, Justin, we should put a sign up there. And you know, he's good at making signs and those kind of things. I'm not. So I said, you know, why don't you make a sign? And he said, sure.
And I said, you know, when you're making it, make one for you as well. I'm like, sure. So I said, you know, because he's going to be a valedictorian, let's do this, let's brag and put "valedictorian" at the bottom. And he said "sure, how about for me?" And he graduated almost top of this class as well. So I said, "you're not a valedictorian, so why don't you just put "not valedictorian"?
He said, "Dad, seriously?" I'm like, yeah, why don't you? So he said, OK, I'm going to put it in caps. I'm like, I was just kidding. He said, no, no, no, I'm actually going to do it. And I said, OK, all of our neighbors are going to get some chuckle out of it, you know? And so I didn't think anything about it. And he just put it out there.
- You were telling me about that-- it was more than a little chuckle from the neighbors, the reaction that you got--
- Oh my god! So I was expecting, you know, people to-- I never expected him to post it. I thought it would be just there and people would get a smile out of it. And then they posted. Oh my god. Then within hours, I was getting calls from my friends, my co-workers, my wife's workplace. And the kids were like, you know, I got this many likes. I got this many likes. I'm like oh, wow. So I'm like, you know, do you think you're going to get about 100? They said maybe. "You know, I don't have that many followers, so no, it might not." But then it just blew up. I think we ended up with, I don't know, close to 20 million views or something on Twitter. And the 15 seconds of fame, it was interesting.
- Yeah, that's awesome.
- What does family mean to you?
- That's everything for me. You know, these kids, I'm so proud of these-- both kids. And you know, me and my wife, that's our life, our kids. That's it, you know? So yeah.
- And what does education mean to you and your family?
- It is very high up there, you know. Family values, then education definitely. And they had the option to decide what they want to do. And he decided to go for mechanical engineering. And he will be attending UT, and he'll be doing computer science. So you know--
- I think, you know, a lot of times we see, like you mentioned, the sports flags and a lot of sports. That gets a lot of emphasis, and there's nothing wrong with that or attention. So I think it's pretty cool that academics gets some recognition and attention, you know? And you have a nice dash, a sense of humor, I think, you know.
- That's not what people are telling me.
- The smart ones get it, I think.
- I think so, I think so. Like, a lot of people said, like I'm putting him down and, you know, I'm bragging about him. But that is not it. Like, the thing was, it's graduation season. And these kids went through, I don't know, all the last four years. Flood, drought, freeze, COVID. I mean, the last four years has been really interesting, you know? So I'm like, you know, at the end of the year, why don't we just take it easy and have fun, you know?
- I think that's pretty cool.