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Posts Tagged ‘It Makes a Dad Proud’

It Makes a Dad Proud

In Family, Giving Back, Inspiration and Motivation, Life Lessons, Pursuit of Happiness on January 24, 2010 at 9:16 am

The past ten months have been a time of tremendous transition for my family, in particular, my son.  At the age of six, he started learning some pretty difficult life lessons.  It started last March with the loss of his great grandmother (Bubby).  Two weeks after his great grandmother passed away, he was dealt another crushing blow.  Our dog (who had been with him his whole life) had gotten so sick that we were going to have to put him to sleep.  This was also around the time that we told him that we were going to be moving to Texas, which meant leaving the only place that he has ever called “home.”

We made the decision to move to Texas to give my kids a better life.  Even though my son is (and always has been) wise beyond his years, the concept of a better life was difficult to comprehend, especially considering that it meant giving up his home, his school, his friends and proximity to most of his family.  While the transition hasn’t been easy on any of us (with the exception of my 3-yr old daughter), it was most difficult on my son.   Needless to say, my wife and I both worried about how my son would handle the move – particularly the change in schools.

When we met my son’s teacher early in the year, she gave us a glowing report, and told us that he seemed to be adjusting very well, not just academically, but socially as well.  Like his pre-school, kindergarten and first grade teachers, his current teacher told us that she wished that she had a classroom full of kids like him.  This is not to say that he is perfect, or that I am some starry-eyed parent who only sees his children through rose-colored glasses.  It just so happens that my son, who has excelled in school with nearly perfect grades, saves all of his not-so-perfect moments for us at home.

I am very proud of the fact that my son’s behavior in school is beyond reproach.  I imagine that it has something to do with his maturity level, which he displayed to me last week at the trophy presentation for his football team.  At the end of the team lunch where the trophies were presented, my son’s coach gave a brief speech.  In his speech he told the team that playing football is costly for parents, and that it is something that we all work hard to pay for.  He then asked the team to give the parents a round of applause to show their appreciation for us.  Most kids clapped politely.  My son, who has been learning the value of money, stood up and gave me a big “thank you” hug as tears welled up in his eyes.  He may not be one of the all-stars on the field, but off the field, no kid on the team is in the same league as far as I’m concerned.

Respect for teachers and parental appreciation are great qualities that my son possesses.  But perhaps the moment that has made me most proud recently is my son’s generosity towards others.  If you’ve been reading my blog, you are already aware that my friend Trish recently lost her daughter to a rare metabolic disorder.  Unfortunately, Trish’s son, Mikey, suffers from the same disorder.  My son has gotten to know Trish’s children through the videos and pictures on Facebook, and by asking me questions about both of them.

Olivia Grace Armand passed away two weeks before Christmas.  Although it was only a small gesture, I wanted to get Mikey a gift.  I decided on a NY Jets blanket since Trish is a big fan of the team.  My son saw the blanket on the computer screen and asked me what it was for.  When I told him what I was doing, he told me that he wanted to pay for it with his own money.  I told him that it wasn’t necessary, but he insisted.  After a bit of negotiating, we agreed to split the cost, but that he would pay the extra penny.  During checkout, there was an opportunity to donate a dollar to a military charity.  Without hesitation, my son asked me to make the donation and to allow him to pay for it.  Once the order was complete, I asked him if he wanted to make a card for Mikey to go with the gift.  He immediately sat down and made a card with a NY Jets theme.

For a 7-yr old kid, my son is acutely aware of things that are going on in our lives, due in part to his penchant for eavesdropping on conversations that I have with my wife.  He knows that I am a part of the Olivia Grace Armand Foundation that was started recently.  When he found out what the foundation was all about, he went running into his room to donate his own money because he wanted to help.  I told him that I’ll find a way for him to contribute without having to spend the money that he’s been saving.  I also let him know that he can make a bigger difference by helping to raise money than he could by just donating some of his own.

It was just decided that the Olivia Grace Armand Foundation will be raising money by selling bracelets featuring the foundation’s website on it.  When I asked my son if he wanted to sell the bracelets to help raise money, his eyes opened wide, he smiled and gave a very enthusiastic “YES!”

I have certainly made my fair share of mistakes in life that I would like to go back and fix.  But it is easy to leave those mistakes in the past when I think about how lucky I am to have a caring, generous son who is willing to go the extra mile to help others…it makes a dad proud!

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