Saturday, May 27, 2006

A Father's Reward

Of all of the things that God has bestowed upon me, there is one gift that I have enjoyed more than any other.

Being a father was that one gift that has been something that I have never taken lightly, because it was the one gift that came with great responsibility, and at times, enormous burden. But more than anything in the world, it also came with great joy and happiness. And how glad I am that I accepted those challenges that came with both, the role and the title.

Yes. The rewards were (and still are) worth every drop of sweat that I have expended over the years, worrying that I would make a mistake or two, or that something would happen to those little children that I helped create. Things are never perfect and my years as a father were not perfect, either. I know where I failed, at least I think I do. But, as I look at my deficiencies and reflect on my performance as a dad, I also see that I did a lot of things right.

I could write a book. But let's suffice it to say that I didn't have a cushy childhood. I had it a lot better than most. And of that, there is no doubt in my mind. Nothing was handed to me, I inherited nothing, I won nothing. I worked for everything that I own. And although, by many standards it isn't much, I am today, among some of the richest men in the entire world.


My youngest child, my son, graduates high school today and I will probably cry at the ceremony, as I see him walk up to that stage and get that diploma. So that will be the end of my hard-nosed reputation in the community. Now, people will know that I am no Red Foreman (the dad in That 70s Show), who is my TV character hero. My reputation will be be shot.

But I do not care. In the end, it will be most therapeutic.

Why?

Because I have done the one thing that so many people have hoped to do, but couldn't. I have done the one thing that many should have done, yet failed to do. And, I have done the one thing that many have had the honor and privilege to do, before me.

I have raised a son.

He has responded, this is his day, and I am very glad in it.

8 comments:

Always On Watch said...

Go ahead and cry. You've earned the right to shed tears of pride.

Congrats to you and your son!

A.C. said...

"You da dad"

Congrats, LA and have a great time. I just went through it last week myself..

LASunsett said...

AOW,

I held up pretty well. I was bloody, bold, and resolute. The processional got me a little, not much. But I pretty much caved when I hugged him afterward. I am very proud of him and look forward to his first college commencement, in four years.

LASunsett said...

AC,

I just went through it last week myself..

Thank you sir, for your kimd words. And a belated graduation congrats to you too.

All_I_Can_Stands said...

Congrats to both of you. I had mine last year and my youngest graduates in 2 years.

LASunsett said...

Thank you, AICS. It was a unique and satisfying experience.

A.C. said...

Congrats to both of you. I had mine last year and my youngest graduates in 2 years.

Congrats to you, too AICS. Guess this means we're all turning into old farts at the same time.

VARepublicMan said...

Congrats to your son and a hearty "well done" to you! While the hard work of graduating is in the control of the kids, it doesn't happen without the full support of a caring parent. I think this deserves a steak dinner!

My second will graduate from high school in a couple of weeks and I just witnessed my oldest turning into a Marine. I'm a full five years from having my only daughter graduate but I know it will be a bitter-sweet time for me.