Folks I am a lot of things, some good some not so much. I am a helluva trainer, my students not only learn, they succeed and they have a great time doing it. I am NOT a fashionable dresser. Shorts and T-Shirts are and should be acceptable for any occasion, including work, weddings and funerals. I have been told lately (well for almost 5 years) I am a good hubby, and I try, plus I am the role model for my 4 siblings. I am NOT a good singer, but I am not afraid to bellow out a song.
I am also a dad
Michelle really hates when I say this, but there have been times really have not felt I was a great dad. I really can’t tell you what I thought a great dad was; I just never felt I got there. I was always there when they needed me, supported every sporting event they did, was the main guidance in school, and kept them on the straight and narrow. Taught them right from wrong, and how to think for themselves. Made the laugh, be polite and apologize when needed. Plus, I could silence them when they were doing wrong with the snap of the fingers (Still can when they are 16 and 21) I just always thought I could do more.
I must’ve done something right, though, because both Manchild and Mathmajor have turned out well. Tonight was one of those nights I was reminded of this.
Manchild and I went to gramma’s house. These are our favorite dinners as my Mom is a great cook (Plus she promises there are no calories in her food, even the brownies) my step dad Doug (the people person ) is hilarious (if you like dry, sarcastic, biting commentary (and we do)) and there is always lots to eat!
While we were there, Manchild informed me he was getting an A in his English class. I could see the pride in his face and hear it in his voice. He is a Jr in High School but he is taking classes at Highline College in the Running Start program.
This kid and I have butted heads since the 6th grade. Homework not done, lousy test scores, barely passing classes. He and I both dreaded teacher conferences, and Michelle would hide when he and I would argue. It made for very stressful weekends. Plus when he was with his mom I couldn’t ride herd as easily. It was getting to the point where I was wondering a bit if he’d graduate.
Then last year his favorite teacher suggested Running Start. I didn’t give it much of a thought, with his history of high school grades. But then he surprised me. He looked the idea, and started bringing it up. We did some looking into it, and decided to give him a shot. He first had to complete a summer class at Highline to prove he was serious.
He got an A! Ok let’s do this!
Since the year started, he has been on top of his classes, getting homework done, and rocking his classes. More impressive, though, he has grown in both confidence and maturity in a very short time. The old saying success breeds success is true. Once he realized he was a smart as we’ve always said, he started enjoying it.
And now is where the Just like me, comes into play. He is getting cocky, but in a good way. One of the kids in his English clash has issues with a group on a project. The professor reached out for volunteers to help this kid, offering big time extra credit. In the past, I woulda tried to convince him to do it, and he woulda fought hard against it,
This time he told me about, and before I could say a word, he said he already volunteered and reached out to the kid. He had “lots of ideas, and they would destroy this presentation!!” Who is this kid?
Tonight, while he was kicking my ass at billiards, I was just having a good time and enjoying his company. I hear mom’s frequently lament the loss of the baby years. They miss it. Not once have I ever thought that, babies are boring. With both boys, 16 and up (even with the occasional frustrations) have been my favorite age.
Manchild and I can talk. We both like the Walking Dead, have the same sense of humor, like the same movies, he likes my 80s music (poor kid, maybe I was a bad influence), share the same views on religion (MUCH to his mother’s chagrin (but he came to this on his own, not once did I lead him down my path of science and logic, he found it himself.)
There are still times the kid drives me nuts. It’s the nature of the beast. But I am damn proud of him for taking control of his academic life, and getting going in the right direction. There is a long way still to go, but he WANTS to succeed now. I wasn’t so sure before.
So was I a great dad? Who knows, but I musta done something right somewhere. I am damn proud of the men they are turning into!