Kwaku Alston

Since my latest literary offering, Daddy, Stop Talking!, was inspired by you telling me to shut up and was admittedly full of embarrassing and infuriating stories about raising you and your brother I thought I’d take this space in Time to write an open letter about a very proud moment I experienced with you recently. But before I do that let me just note, Time—not too shabby for a guy who was put on academic probation in junior college and is still traumatized by spelling girl with a U on an elementary school blackboard.

Back in February, the whole family packed up and headed to the Cheesecake Factory. (By the way, as I wrote in the new book, the reason why America is fat and our economy is in the toilet is because the only factories still in operation have the words Cheesecake and Old Spaghetti in front of them.) As always it was super crowded. While we were walking back to our car after gorging ourselves, someone was circling the parking lot like a vulture, hovering for someone to leave and evacuate a space. That lot, like our stomachs, was overstuffed. So that person stopped when they saw us and waited for us to waddle to our car.

And here’s where I get proud. You said to your brother, Sonny, “Hurry, the person in the silver car is waiting.” At age eight you had enough situational awareness and courtesy to notice we were inconveniencing someone. I wish the rest of the narcissistic disaster known as modern America could have that. You are growing up in an era of people bringing their so-called “service” dogs on planes and putting their bare feet up on the table at Starbucks while taking a “selfie.” You were born into the Kardashian culture. For you to think about someone else’s feelings before your own made this papa proud and bodes well for your future. I don’t know what kind of career success you’ll achieve but you’ll certainly be a success as a person. I may not be a perfect father, but I certainly did something right in drilling the non-narcissism point into you and Sonny. (Though, ironically, I just made it about me.)

I know I talked a lot of smack about you, and your brother, in Daddy Stop Talking, but this story took place after the book was past the point of no return as far as inserting new material. So I wanted to make sure you knew I was proud of you and I love you. That moment a few months back is the only Father’s Day gift I need. Especially since I make all the money that you’d be using to buy me a Father’s Day gift anyway.


Carolla is a best-selling author and the host of The Adam Carolla Show. His new book is Daddy, Stop Talking!: And Other Things My Kids Want But Won’t Be Getting

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