You graduate from high school today.
It seems like only yesterday you were a squalling baby when I would come in from doing the chores. Your mom would hand you off to me because you had driven her to wits' end with your constant crying and you would fall asleep in my arms. She didn't like me very much for that.
You have such an imagination. (I like to think that at least part of that comes from me.) Getting into everything, to see how it worked, a thousand grand projects on the go. That hasn't changed. Except now it's pick-up trucks and ATV's instead of toys and RC cars.
You lived in your Superman pajamas and to an extent, you lived the part. Loved it when I'd toss you into the air. I remember how you used to run up the cattle chute and leap, flying, stretched out, through the air, into my waiting arms. Then have me back up a step so you could go again, seeing if you could fly even farther.
You loved your grandfather and would spend all day in the tractor with him and when it was time to come home, do that crazy twisted hand wave you did to each other. I remember how bad he felt when you were helping him on the fertilizer spreader and you got your finger crunched in the chain drive. How you both laughed when someone passed on the advice, not to stick your finger anyplace you wouldn't stick your pecker.
You had planned together, that you would not go to school but stay home to be his helper, and in turn, he would teach you everything you needed to know. And when he passed away, how you kept a spot on your dresser for the card and flower that someone had given you in sympathy.
Teachers loved you in school. Bright and funny, charming and smart. In elementary, every time we would go in for parent/teacher interviews, they always gushed about you. Mrs. McCarthy had to show us the family picture you drew that had, "baby" labeled with an arrow to your mom's belly, because you were so excited about the new arrival. Funny how much you and that brother don't get along these days.
I remember getting a call from the school because you had accidentally been kicked in the groin. They wondered if I wanted to come pick you up. They said it wasn't too bad but you were having some discomfort. I chose to let you stay at school for the last hour of the day. Because sometimes, we are going to get kicked in the nuts, and sometimes things, are going to happen that just make you feel that way. You needed to know that the best thing is to get up and try to carry on.
Once, you got expelled for a couple days for fighting. Some kid decided, doing a gross thing to you would be funny. It wasn't and you punched him in the head. That wasn't so smart because you broke your hand. We had to talk to you about other options when things like that happen. But inside i was doing a fist pump because you stuck up for yourself, even though I couldn't tell you that at the time. That cast was a badge of honor.........and the gross thing? It was worthy of a punch in the head.
You don't have natural athletic ability like your older brother but you joined the basketball team anyways. You were good enough to not get cut in the four years that you played. This last year you struggled and sat quite a bit and thought about quitting. Deciding to see it through until the end was a tough decision. Walking away would have been something that stayed with you for the rest of your life. Making that choice showed your loyalty.
Your friends rely on you. So many times you got a text to come pull someone out of a ditch or try figure out why their vehicle quit running. Off you would go, sometimes later than i liked, tool box on the back of your truck to lend a hand.
With the spirit of an adventurer and the knack for a deal, it seems your latest venture involves rounding up old campers and holiday trailers from people willing to give them to you for free. To the point, in fact, that our yard is beginning to resemble the set of Duck Dynasty. That doesn't surprise me though, you've always had a bit of a hillbilly streak in you. Maybe you get that from your mom? (just kidding dear.)
|the more things change......|
|........the more they stay the same.|
The part time job at the parts store, that you carried through most of this last year in school, has the potential as a career choice in a trade vocation. Since they've offered you a full time position, it seems full time employment isn't something that you have to worry about looking for right now. I just wish you would put some of that money in the bank instead of spending it on speakers and truck parts. But then, I don't suppose that's any different a wish than most dads have for their sons in this town.
You've done well, young man. Not all your decisions have been the right ones but that's part of becoming an adult. As long as you continue to learn from your mistakes and never stop trying to be better, you'll be fine. You graduate from high school today. You have the world by the tail. Not a worry in the world. And that's fine for today, have fun, your mom and I will do the worrying for you. At least for now. Because that's what we do.
Sometime today, you will probably notice that my eyes are red and watery. You don't need to ask about that. I'm going to tell you it's allergies.
.........and just in case I've never told you before, I am so very proud of you.
***A few weeks ago, some very talented guy blogggers introduced a site called Dude Write. It's a site for guy bloggers (Dudes!) to submit a post to, once a week, to be voted on for top honours. This week (7/3/12), this very post claimed that prize. It is truly a grand distinction and I encourage you to visit the site, poke around, read some of the other posts. Any one of those posts were good enough to be winners. I thank them for the opportunity to share what I'm doing and hang out with the Dudes. You can also view the other top winners by visiting the Dude Write, diamond club.***