Friday, June 10, 2011


The high school tennis coach smiled at the eighty-four guests assembled for the end of the season team banquet. "Before we start eating, we should thank everyone who helped plan tonight's activities. If you were one of the organizers, please stand up."

My oldest rose. He was the only one. Everyone stared at him.

"Stand up," he hissed at his co-captain.

"I didn't do anything," the other boy whispered.

"Stand up anyway," said my oldest. The boy stood. Everyone stared at them.

"Some of the parents must have helped?" suggested the coach, a little tentatively.

My oldest rolled his eyes at me. I stood up and muttered, "Well, I signed the booster club check." The crowd finally began to clap.

Later, when plates were cleared, speeches over, awards distributed, gifts handed out, and the slide show packed away, I had a chance to speak with the banquet hall manager.

"I've been doing this for a long time," she said, nodding in the direction of my son. "I've never had one of the students coordinate the whole thing before."

"Yeah, he's not a typical kid," I said.

"He's going to school in Florida next year?"

"Right. Miami."

"I bet you're going to miss him around the house."

"You don't know the half of it," I said.

Sadly and happily, that day is fast approaching. The graduation ceremony is tomorrow and then we've got a couple months of summer and then he and his youngest brother and his youngest brother's friend and I pile in the van for the drive down south. I'll drop him off at the dorm and wave goodbye and be thankful I have a couple of thirteen-year-olds along for the ride to keep me from thinking about it too much.

In the meantime, it's been a good few weeks. He was named all-conference in tennis, got a nice little mention in our local paper for his academic achievements, and the Lovely Bride and I have had the pleasure of hearing all kinds of nice things about him from a whole bunch of people, including some we barely know.

I suppose that's bragging. So be it. We're proud of him.


zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Brag away.

My son wants to be an urban planner. All the example I give, and none of it sinks in. He chuckles ruefully.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Congrats to you and the young snaggle (finally) leaving the nest!

I remember it like it was yesterday (aka September, 1977):


OMG the SECOND! WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?/Roomates??/Creatures from Outer Space and/or The Black Lagoon???

Jennifer said...

Very nice, Snag. I wouldn't have expected a unicorn to have fathered anything less.

Also, I thought you promised him to me for 2 weeks this summer so he could organize my house...

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

If that doesn't work, Jennifer, we have a minion that might be available, once he finishes helping me build a deck.

Substance McGravitas said...

That sounds like an excellent son.

Hamish Mack said...

Yeah he sounds great. Good work by his parents

fish said...

Good work by his parents. Whoever they were.

Kathleen said...

brag away my friend.

Vonnie said...

Congrats to the boy, and the parents.
Good job.
You raised a good person.

Brando said...

It's not bragging if it's true. Congrats on raising a good kid, although I imagine you're slightly disappointed that your efforts to set a bad example were largely ineffective.