So what happens when it is halfway through the month of December and our hero Mountainstroh has a total of 10 (nope not a typo, ten) bike miles so far? Well for one, he starts wondering just how many layers he will need to ride in 30 degree weather, and for two, the blog needs other inspiration to keep it from dying an early death. Tonight I stumbled on a bit of a spark.
As I was scrolling through some photos, I came across this one from somewhere in 2009/2010.
Yep its a rare picture of all 4 of us. From left to right, Mathmajor, the lovely Michelle. her dorky looking husband (me) and the Manchild. We had gotten a wild hair and went ice skating. Now for the two boys who were inline speed skaters this came easy! Michelle, a gymnast in her youth, no problem. Me… Well we just won’t mention that.
The spark that started this post wasn’t the skating trip, but how much things have changed since this was taken. (well changed for the boys, Michelle and I are still together and happy. She is still gorgeous, me, well, not so much).
Back when this was taken, Mathmajor was a Jr in high school and Manchild was in middle school. WOW that seems SO long ago….
The Mathmajor had just come out of his sophomore year where he had almost failed 3 classes. 6 weeks before the end of the term he had 3 Fs going. At the end of 6 of the hardest weeks he had ever had(to date) , in addition to begging for extra credit, and groveling for all he was worth, he pulled 2 Bs and C out of those classes.
They say everyone needs a kick in the ass, and that was his. From that point on, not just in Highschool, but in college as well, he never got less than an A. He started at Western Washington University as a PoliSci major, switched to Math, and then, last year at this time, Graduated with Honors in Genetic Studies (with a math minor).
Currently, he has just completed his first quarter of grad school in Genome Studies at the University of Washington. The man is smarter than I will EVER be! How are we celebrating Christmas? Michelle and I are having him over to open presents this coming Friday, then we are taking him to lunch and wine tasting at our favorite places. A helluva jump for kid who almost failed 3 classes.
The Manchild has also done well. At the time of this photo, there was a daily battle trying to get him to do his homework. I will admit, I told my friend Monica it was time to resort to ritual beatings! Two things kept him as part of the family: Both Michelle and my Mom. They would have beat me to an inch of my life if I had really put him up for sale on eBay. (I was sure some Amish family would like a farmhand,,,,) Folks, as the years went on, I was not sure he would make it out of high school.
As I said, everyone needs a kick in the ass. In his case it was Mr Podmore, his American Sign Language teacher. Manchild and I were to go to his parent teacher conference his sophomore year. Honestly, I just did NOT have it in me to go to all of them and then be mad AGAIN! We agreed to just go to Podmore’s class. As we wrapped it up, Mr Podmore told me in no uncertain terms that the Manchild needed to be out of high school and to go to Running Start at Highline Community College. (I learned later he saw a LOT of himself in the kid, as he had someone push him when he was younger)
I will fully admit, I was skeptical, but since he was too big to hit with a stick and I couldn’t sell him,and I as at my wits end, I was willing to try anything. The result?
Well in June this year there were 2 ceremonies.
High School Graduation
And Associates of Arts!
Yep he did BOTH! Currently he just finished his first finals week at Western. Tonight, I drop him off at a gathering of his friends. He will either get a ride home or Uber later. Sunday we will have our Christmas celebration together. Pork loin, stuffing and presents!
And that’s when it hit me. I am the dad of two adults. Better yet, 2 adults who are doing well, who are independent, smarter than hell (as we know brains come from the gramma genes) , and who have turned their lives around. Michelle and I very proud parents!
But that just makes me sit there and think. Somehow 23 years for one and 18 for the other have passed since they were born. I know there are a lot of times I made mistakes. I blew up when I should have listened, got mad when I shoulda taken a breath, and twice (no lie) I told Manchild he was fine and stop whining to find he had a broken arm (I did NOT cause the broken arm!)
Through ALL that, there musta been times I did something right. They are both a lot like me now, and from what I hear, that is not necessarily a bad thing. Who knows how far they will go…