06 July 2008

July 6, 1983

Twenty-Five years ago today.
A day much like today... hot and humid. Showers were a possibility.
A very pregnant Sara Jean got out of bed to go to the bathroom. She returned to the bedside and woke me...
"I think it's time."
Through bleary eyes I looked to see fluid running down her leg.
That ain't normal!

Suddenly wide awake, bolt upright in bed, I grabbed the phone and called the hospital...
"Yeah, you need to get her here ASAP."
Fiat 124 Spyder had a broken starter, so I ran out and pushed it downhill to jump start it, then came back and loaded my precious cargo. Two miles and five minutes later Sara Jean was on her way to the birthing room. Big Bubba was born a few hours later.

Gosh, is it really 25 years? It doesn't seem that long until you start considering the memories.
I was concerned my male offspring would pay me back in Spades for the worry I had caused my parents for all those years. I fretted needlessly.

My relationship with my son was not, and is not perfect.
From an early age he let me know he had his own interests and would not be following in my footsteps. When I bought him his first logbook and introductory flight lesson, he landed saying he was "frightened from the moment the plane left the ground."

Oh well.

He has been the joy of our life. He has a strong sense of right and wrong. He is overly sensitive to hurting others' feelings. He is a known expert at
his chosen work and won't release a product until it is as nearly perfect as he can make it.
And the thing that impresses me most...
Unlike other 25 year olds I meet and converse with,
he knows he doesn't know.

Reading a comment in another blog a couple weeks ago the commenter said,
"I was forty before I realized there were thousands of things about which I was clueless."
Knowing what you know is one thing. Realizing what you don't know is more important. Maturity comes with knowing you don't know.
Big Bubba has never pretended to know it all. And because of that, he's easy to like.

There's no easy way to emphasize to your kid how proud of 'em you are. They know you're biased, so they shrug their shoulders and say "Oh Dad/Mom!", then look away, embarrassed.
But in Big Bubba, Sara Jean and I have so much to be proud of...
He's intelligent, kind, and sensitive. He wants to succeed on his own, but he's not afraid to call and ask questions when he "knows he doesn't know." He's 1700 miles from home, making his way with extraordinarily little input from his parents.
I am proud of him. WE are proud of him.

So, to my son-
Shrug it off as I know you will, but this I am sure of:
Your old man still doesn't know it all, but when we look around at your peers, most come up miserably short in the comparison.

Your Mother and I are rightly proud of the citizen you have become.
Be proud of yourself too... Don't change a thing.

Happy Birthday!
We love you more than life itself.


elay said...

Happy Birthday to Big Bubba!
It was nice reading a little bit about him - and the few hours before he came into this world. This is such a sweet post from a dad =)

the golden horse said...

What wonderful words from a father to his son.
And I bet when he rolls his eyes at your comments, he is secretly thrilled down to his toes.
Ken and I wish him the best and you didn't exagggerate a bit, he is delightful to be around.

cary said...

Happy birthday to Big Bubba! It is such a head start to know that you are lacking knowledge, and a double head start when you are willing to pursue the knowledge you lack!

Mike Poole said...

Big Bubba is lucky to have a dad like you.

I know I haven't been around you for a few years, but one thing I do remember was an early morning shift change when you were taking a big bundle of frozen pizzas out of the base fridge that you had picked up for him.

He must have been around 16 or 17 at the time and you were amazed at how much food he could consume!

I also remember how proud you were of him.

My Sam turns 4 on Wednesday and I hope when he is 25 he will think he had as good a father as you.

Happy birthday Bubba! You have one hell of an old man and it sounds like you are on your way to being a fine citizen as well.


No doubt about it, Bubba, you've got one great set of parents, and I think they've got one great son as well. Happy birthday.

Andrea Shea King said...

What a wonderful tribute to a fine young man... fruit evidently did not fall far from the tree!

Congratulations all around!

Di said...

Awww...I have tears in my eyes!! You are such a great dad, and I just know your son is equally awesome!! I wish him the best in the year ahead!!