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."
Our 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."
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.
We love you more than life itself.