Fair warning: This is a proud Papa moment! I recently sat through two hours of Senior Awards Night at Shadow Mountain High School. I cannot tell you how many deserving kids got so many amazing awards. And, to have my oldest son, Justin, be counted among these incredible kids is just an unbelievable feeling. As a parent, I think sometimes we only see the flaws in ourselves and our children. We are so close to them and want the best for them that we push them to become the best versions of themselves. But, sometimes, we forget to celebrate the wins and acknowledge just how great they can be, even if they are not perfect in every way possible.
As my first born is getting ready to graduate high school in a few days, the thoughts and feelings that I’ve recently had have been about whether I’ve been a good enough parent to him. Will he be able to stand on his own two feet? Will he be successful in college? Have we prepared him enough?
After what I witnessed over the past year and the awards and accolades that he has collected along the way, I have no doubt that this kid can do anything in life. He will never be perfect, but who is? He won’t always make good decisions, but who does?
I am overwhelmed with a sense of awe at what he and his classmates have been able to accomplish in their short lives. If they are any indication of what is to come when they are adults, then my faith in humanity has been renewed!
I have no idea if my kids have accomplished so much because of or despite me and my wife, Michelle, but I do know that I will never question my son’s ability again. All anyone can do is to do their best on any given day. And, as all of us can attest to, some days are better than others.
With that said, I want all parents to applaud themselves for a job well done. Guess what? We don’t have to be perfect either. We just have to care and be engaged with our kids. If we care and let our kids know that, then I truly believe that they will be okay. They will make mistakes and sometimes do the wrong thing, but don’t we do the same?
I sometimes beat myself up about not being a good enough parent. However, when I look at what all three of my kids have accomplished, I am extremely proud of them. Sure, I applaud them for their achievements in their academics, music, and sports, but I am more proud of who they are and what they represent than the actual accomplishments themselves. At the end of the day, isn’t this what life is really about?