Thursday, May 18, 2006
Attaboy Dan
It's been almost a week since this photo was taken. He realized our world went topsy-turvy on us with the arrival of Addison. Still, I'd like to tell you about MY boy. I had four brothers - I wanted my daughters to have a brother, and since they came first, big brother was out of the question. Still, Dan managed to do all the awful things brothers do: be dirty, smelly, have icky friends who are dirty and smelly. Taunt, tease, tickle. Bring creepy creatures into the house. Be gross at the table, whether there is a dinner guest or not. Actually moreso if there is a dinner guest. Brothers are good that way.

He was noisy, easily-frustrated. He was crazy-competitive. He created enough havoc in our house to keep us all on our toes. He made family vacations interesting. He went to the emergency room more times than you can imagine for injuries you can't imagine. He made me read a lot of books on childrearing. Some twice.

We sat through hundreds of basketball, football and track events. Many were not fun, for him or us. Some were memories in the making. He often had to stay afterwards to apologize to a coach or referee. We had to make him do his homework, his bedroom should have been condemned. We just closed the door. You pick your battles. We were raising a man, not a neatnik.

He was such a handful, but I saw his heart. It was / is big. And soft. He loved every cat he saw, and most dogs. He loved junk food in large quantities; anything healthy - not so much. Most of his best friends were not ones we would have chosen. They were usually the underdogs with more disagreeable traits than he had. He did and does love his sisters. He's insanely protective of anyone he loves. He drove us nuts. He stretched the daylights out of us.

When it came time for college he decided he needed to go far away. He is quiet and shy and said he'd come home too often if he chose somewhere near. So he went 1200 miles away where his sisters are. Both his sisters got married in college. He swore he would not do that. He said, "it makes you too poor." That was before he met Janae, a beautiful, 5'11" Texas native. They married a year after they met. I told him, "the first year is the hardest. The next 60 something will be easier." As a married man/college student he worked full-time and went to school full-time also. He went over a year without coming home to see us and his dog.

Last Friday MY boy graduated from college, with more than a 3.0 gpa. He was asked to speak the night before at the college's Candlelight Service. Since it was the college president asking he couldn't say no. He is not a speaker - he's quiet and shy. It was a big stretch for him. He told his classmates they are all freshmen again, not knowing much and needing to listen. We busted our buttons with pride. For stretching himself. For pulling it off. For the man he's grown into.

Our kids have a running debate over who is my favorite. Dan insists he is because as he puts it (a little biology lacking here) he was in the womb the longest (think egg...). I don't have a favorite - we moms know they're all our favorite. He IS my favorite boy on this planet. I'm crazy about him. I don't think I could do the whole thing twice, but I'm so grateful I got to do it once.

Loving this boy - he wore me out - he won me over. He deserves an 'attaboy'.


  posted at 1:12 PM

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    Girl Raised in the South

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