Friday, May 15, 2015

Redefining Average - Our Boy Graduates College Tomorrow!

Have you ever known average to be even better than awesome?  I have.

17 years ago on a sunny September morning, Kim and I together walked our toe headed boy into his kindergarten class at Kermit Kiddie College, just a couple hundred steps down the street from our house in Hudson.  Finger painted masterpieces and stitches on his chin, Mrs. B would start him on a journey that has led our boy to where we are today.  Tomorrow, on a cloudy May afternoon, Kim and I will together drive with that same "used-to-be-little" boy 110 miles down the Mass Pike to his college graduation.  Holy shit!!

On his first day of fourth grade at the Library Street School, some twelve years ago, Chris wrote the words you see above in his brand new journal.  We joke with him all the time about being careful never to set his goals too high and his "Yeah, whatever" way of going through life.  But at the same time, that nine-year old who was just hoping to be average has so far surpassed average that there are no words that can properly describe the pride in the hearts of his "mom" and his "dad."  And he was right.  All A's or average, we would be proud!!

Be it in the classroom or on the field, he has turned "average" into a Criminal Justice degree and is a final candidate for a job with the Hudson Police Department.  He turned a smaller than average 42 pound Pop Warner football player into a 200 pound cornerback for the Westfield State University Owls.  He is far from arrogant, but NEVER tell this kid that he cannot do something.

As proud as we are of his hard work and success, it has never been about the classroom or the football field for Kim and me.  It is about what other people say to us about our son.  He is respectful, compassionate and honest.  He is an even-keeled young man who provides stability and reason when shit starts to hit the fan.  He is the first one to step up and deescalate a situation.  Ask Chris to help you with something and he will drop EVERYTHING to help.  Yeah, I'm his dad, so I know I am a bit biased.  A bit??  Okay.  A lot biased.  Whatever.  But I ain't lying.  The kid is some kinda unique!

At some point between 4 and 7 o'clock tomorrow, our son will walk across the stage at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA to receive his Bachelor's Degree.  And his father, eyes soaked with tears, will be overtaken with pride.

And I will remember that boy 22 years ago who needed his father to help him stand on his own two feet.  And there he will be, standing on his own, crossing that stage a grown man with the world at his finger tips.  Oh, he's gonna keep doing us proud.  Because THAT is who he is.

I love you Chris.  And congratulations Bud!!