Indulge me. It’s time for a little bragging. Today my son Nicholas graduates from High School. I knew the day would come, and I had no doubt that he would graduate but believe me there were a few times when we were holding our breath. Over 18 years ago he joined the population with a gulp of air and a scream and he never looked back. Oh sure he’s done some stupid things in his life. So have I, so have you, but in my book he’s a keeper.
When he was first born I thought he was going to kill us. The sleep deprivation was brutal. The advice from those who had been there and done that was, “Sleep when he sleeps.” I took that advice to heart, however most of my dozing was done at the office. Today I continue to try to keep my eyes open at my desk (although he doesn’t have anything to do with that anymore) and he is still a night owl. We will sometimes find him awake at 2 or 3 in the morning. Thankfully he’s a lot quieter than he was nearly two decades ago.
In the first grade he joined the scouting program and became a Tiger Cub, worked his way through Cub Scouts earning the Arrow of Light—Cub Scout’s highest honor—and bridged to Boy Scouts where he flourished in the program. At the age of 16 he made the rank of Eagle Scout, an accomplishment that less than 4% of Boy Scouts can claim.
He is an impressive young man who stands 6 foot 2 inches. With his broad shoulders and thin build, he looks like he is built out of coat hangers. You should see him in a tuxedo. We got to see that a lot because he has been committed to the orchestra program for the last 8 years and he will be pursuing his passion of music in college—specifically composition.
He chose the viola (a beefed up violin) in 4th grade. He said he liked it because it was the string instrument that is closest in range to the human voice, and he has been playing it ever since. Over the years he has also been writing original music (since the sixth grade), competing in Scottish fiddle competitions, learning jazz improvisation, playing in youth orchestras, attending music camps, playing in a rock and roll band, recording in a studio, and has even been giving viola lessons to younger students.
He definitely has talent. He is creative like his parents but of a different bent. Above and beyond that though he is a compassionate and selfless young man. He is comfortable in his own skin and he is not afraid to stand against others who he feels are wrong or stand beside those whom he feels have been wronged. He is mature beyond his years and has no trouble talking to and networking with others of any age.
In just a little over two months he will be free of daily parental scrutiny. No one will tell him to do his homework or nag him to practice his instrument. He’ll have to do his own laundry, get himself up in the morning and resist the urge to play video games day and night. Maybe he’ll crash and burn, but I doubt it. He has too much on the ball to allow that to happen. However should that occur, we’ll welcome him home and try to figure out what went wrong, because that’s what parents do. There might be quite a bit of breath holding over the next four years, but I believe we’ll be watching our son don a cap and gown at least one more time.
I love you, Dude!