Friday, June 3, 2011
Tomorrow, my full house will get just a little bit closer to being an empty nest, when my son graduates from high school. His has been a long, hard road. I tease him that when they call his name, he and I will walk hand-in-hand across the stage to accept "our" diploma, because it has taken a lot of work from both of us to get to this day. Some kids have it easy, and sail through school, effortlessly bringing home A's and B's. Others struggle and suffer just for a C. My middle child has had that kind of road...sandwiched right between two kids who seemed to get A's just for showing up. But, through the tears and torment there have been tiny triumphs...like remembering something they have long since forgotten, like which president declared that he spoke softly but carried a big stick. (I'm not sure his younger brother even remembered that Teddy Roosevelt was a president...) Or passing his written test for his driver's license on the first try, unlike his older sister who missed it by a few points and had to take it again... not that he points that out to her (much.)
His hard road started early in life. Words came with difficulty and often required translation. "My nee no" meant "I don't know." "My wan nee-nah" meant "I want a banana." When his PaPa asked him whose boy he was, he sweetly replied in his deep voice "Mam boy," letting us all know he belonged to his Mamma. Bigger than the other kids, my gentle giant had to be taught to stand up for himself in Kindergarten when smaller kids realized he wouldn't do a thing when they pushed him down. Never was a sweeter child born than this one. Tender-hearted and caring, he would put band-aids on our freckles if we let him.
And while he has struggled in school, he has succeeded in other areas like teaching himself to play the guitar by ear, taking care of patients in the nursing home, and building playgrounds on mission trips.
When he goes off to the Air Force in a few months my grocery bill will probably be cut in half and I will spend less time shopping online for size 15 boots. But I can only imagine how empty the house will be without the sound of those boots on the hardwood floors and his deep chuckle rumbling at something funny he hears on television.
So, tomorrow, when they call his name, I will smile through my tears when he holds that diploma. You did it, Taylor!!! We love you!