Every now and then I have to stop and write down thoughts about things that go on in my life, and today is one of those days.  Today is important.  They say pride is a sin but I don’t care.  Today I am proud.

On the subject of pride, a friend once asked me, “What in your life can you point at that you are proud of doing?”  Being who I am, it took me a lot of time to answer that question.  I came up with graduating from West Point and earning my Army Commission, and with my son.  That remained all I could conjure up then and nothing has changed since then to modify my answer.  I wondered if I should have more.

The two themes are linked and relevant to me today, those of graduation and my boy.  They’re connected in my mind to my pride that I spoke of at the opening of this piece.  All three concepts are swirling in my head.

Today, I am proud because my son graduated from high school.  It’s been quite a day of reflection and emotion for me, someone unused to that kind of thing.  I am simply not built to sit and mull over the past or to look deeply within my own heart.  Today I find pride, love, accomplishment and happiness.

Seventeen years ago, I can clearly remember taking this tiny little baby into the shower with me.  I’d given up on the special sink-fitting baby bath.  My way was fast and easy.  I’d carry him in my arm like a football, his tiny head resting in my palm and his pink feet kicking at the crook of my elbow.  Every move deliberate and careful, I never dropped him.

Seventeen years ago, I patiently shoveled spoonful after spoonful of food into his grinning little mouth, amazed and a little worried this little creature would never top off.  I remember holding his baby picture next to mine and the scary sameness I felt seeing the images side by side.  I recall sometimes checking on him at night after I’d finished some Army business at my home desk, just watching him sleep and hoping that years later, things would be better for him than I had.

Today, my son is poised on the edge of that better life.  I got to watch this young man, now an inch taller than me, smarter and far better looking than I ever was, stride across his gymnasium to receive his diploma.

The air in there, it seems, was either dusty or full of some pollen because I had trouble taking pictures for my watery eyes.  Later, I forced him into a bear hug.  Boys this age you have to force parental affection upon.  I can, and so I did.  I told him I am more proud of him than anything.

Tomorrow, I will drive him to his last summer Scout Camp, where he will lead and instruct as an Eagle Scout one last time before starting his own college adventure away from home.

I still only have two things in my life I’m proud of doing, but that seems all right to me.


52 Responses to “Pride”

  1. Le Clown Says:

    Congrats old fart.
    Le Clown

  2. I think the Good Lord gives a man a pass on pride when it comes to his Son.

    Happy Fathers Day.

  3. whiteladyinthehood Says:

    Happy Father’s Day!
    (You’re a helluva good writer, Rants)

  4. Congratulations. Sounds like you raised an excellent young man.

  5. Awwww…..very nice, Rants and congrats proud Papa.

  6. aww congrats to you and your son 🙂

  7. BrainRants,

    Congrats to your son… Your efficiency doesn’t surprise…forget the baby tub…pollen does wonders to make the eyes water, no? Happy Father’s Day. Be proud.


  8. Those are two mighty fine good things to be proud of. Congratulations to you and your son!

  9. Between your service and your son, sounds like an awful lot to be proud of.
    Congrats, Rants Jr.!

  10. Congrats. My oldest is still two years away from graduation. I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle it without crying. I’ll be hiding my man card that day.

  11. I’m proud of only three things…Baby A, Baby B, and Baby C. I’ve fucked everything else up.

    Congrats to Little Rants. I hope you has a successful career and continues to make daddy proud.

  12. Happy fathers day a day late! Would you be proud if he joined up? Or wouldn´t want him to do that? Just curious since my parents thought I was nuts when I did so…think they still think I´m nuts.

  13. Melanie Says:

    Fuckin-A. Rock on with your pride. Happy Fathers Day.

  14. Pride in one’s human cubs is a good thing & tears are for manly men!
    Happy Dad’s day Rants…

  15. Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge Says:

    Good dad. Good dad. Enjoy every minute

  16. Pretty good things to be proud of, I suppose. Now let’s just hope your son doesn’t become too infatuated with women and wine in college.

    Because I totally didn’t.

  17. Congrats to both of you!
    Very beautiful post.

  18. Aw, damn. The pollen must be just CRAZY this time of year, because it’s affecting me, too.

    Congratulations to you and your boy. You have a right to be proud.

  19. Great thoughts … Congrats and best of wishes your son’s positive future.

  20. Oh, great. If a hard-ass like you gets weepy-eyed over his son’s graduation, what am I gonna do when MY son graduates next year?? He already teases me: “Only 180 more high school days, and then I’ll be moving away to college!” Sniff Sniff…

    Congrats, Rants. They just grow up too quickly, don’t they?

  21. …or in my case, a free Mom pass…

  22. Congratulations to the both of you. Sounds like you did a wonderful job of raising him. Oh, you may find the pollen bothering you again when he goes off to college, but keep in mind that he’ll probably come back home anyway…mine both did for brief periods. And it was nice. 🙂

  23. Hey Brain! Besides pollen, did you find it difficult to breathe through your puffed up (proud) chest? I know I did when my daughter graduated! Had to travel over 800 kms. to see it, but it was worth it!

  24. Congratulations, BrainRants and congratulations to your son. While you say you currently only have two things in your life that you’re proud of, they’re damn good things to be proud of.

  25. I’d say you have a long and distinguished career of service to be proud of. But then again, what do I know, leaving my participles dangling like that?

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