The Hopes We Have


I spent the evening reading old journals tonight. My daughter almost forgot to say good night and offered a quick hug before wandering off to bed. My son is spending the night at one of his friend’s house. Tomorrow evening he graduates high school. So tonight I thought it a fitting tribute to look back for a little while.

How do airplanes fly? What happens to old people when they reach one hundred, do they just start at the beginning and become babies again? What are my testicles for? Are they two eggs? Do they help me pee? Just a sampling of the many questions my son asked me when he was five years-old. At that age I described him as a sweet-spirited boy who was more artistic than athletic, confident, and friendly and who would try anything.

I must have been paying attention because my 18 year-old son is a great guitar player and a self-taught piano player. Sang bass two years in the top choir at school and won an award for metal design in a county-wide competition.  Thankfully he likes to play me music and listen to me sing.  He and I have penned about 4 songs together and that has been a joy I never expected to experience.

He is a loyal and giving friend. A respectful and adoring boyfriend. He hates cleaning his room, studying, and is dreaming I’m sure this moment about what his first tattoo will look like.

I’ve been looking forward to this day for him as all parents do, but I’m even more proud because of what he has lived through without losing his golden heart. No one is perfect but my son could have turned out very differently. Instead he kept refocusing on wanting to please his parents, and please his God. He chose amazing friends who I’m proud to know myself. And he’s always tried to do the right thing. When he hasn’t, he’s owned up to it and tried to make things right.

I’ve never seen him talk harshly or with malice toward anyone but me, his father, or his sister and being family…I guess that is to be expected.

When he was 16 he gave away his very cool portable basketball hoop to his best friend who couldn’t afford one for his birthday. He was adamant about it.

He loves his video games just like every other teenage boy but more than once a week I can wander into the family room to find him watching a documentary.  Yesterday he told me, “Mom…did you know that they really did discover mermaids?”  I said, “Sweetie stop watching the history channel.”  He said, “HA…it’s the SciFi channel so THERE.”   *sigh*

He’s watched just about every documentary  and pseudo-documentary you can think of, loves history like me, and loves to read fantasy books.  Perhaps there is a connection.

He is also the life of the party.  Loves to have fun, be silly, and take the scene in and live in the moment.

He played 4 years water polo, 3 swim, and one volleyball.  Lettered in all three.  But before that he took a stab at basketball, football, golf, and surfing.

He is  motivated when inspired.  And has severe trouble when he’s not.  Trudged through many an AP class…knowing it wasn’t his thing.  But had it been…he would have shined because he can figure anything out that he wants to.  Easily…

But taking into account, all that he is;  he is my sweet little boy who still gives me kisses and hugs and who will continue to make me proud, and worried, and scared, and hopeful.

I love him with all my heart and I will be crying the same tears that are dripping off my cheeks tonight when I hear his name called out and he walks up to get his diploma.

I have this little nugget to hold onto.  He loves me and I love him.  We fight sometimes but he knows I care more than he will ever understand. And I know he will be a part of my life even after he “grows up”.

And as a side note…I’m re-learning that terrible lesson in life that when you cry and wipe your tears…don’t do it with hands that just cut up jalapeño peppers. ( I know…it totally kills the mood but I’m all about being honest on this blog and my face is burning right now…haha)

I have been struggling at what to do for his graduation.  I’m giving him a check for $2000.00 to go toward the car we need to buy him so he can get to college next year.  And when I was at the grocery store buying the jalapeño peppers for the awesome Barbacoa burritos we will have celebrating his graduation tomorrow…I wandered into the card aisle.  This was the third card I picked up and I knew this was the one I had to buy.  Leave it to the card companies to get me crying again.

It read:

To make this a better world by believing you can make a difference…
To know what is good, what is lasting and true….
To live the one exceptional life only you were born to live  –
This is my graduation wish for you.

What more could a parent hope for?

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