When the son becomes the teacher

I recently had the pleasure of watching my oldest son win an award at school. The award was an American Legion Award for Citizenship. He had no idea that he was getting an award, which made seeing him get this an even cooler experience.

I’m not sure how it happened but he is getting ready for high school. It seems like just yesterday that I was getting his footprints tattooed on my arm. Time sure does go fast but that’s not what this blog is about.

I’m constantly amazed at what a great young man Riley is. I don’t mean that to say that I’m surprised that he is such a great kid. I mean it to say that he really isn’t that little kid that I remember him to be anymore and he is turning into such a great young man that it makes my heart melt and so proud at the same time.

Being a child of divorce comes with many challenges I am sure and Riley has overcome them with such grace and character that I think he should write a book on how to do it. He has seen both me and his mother get re-married and has gone from being an only child to being an older brother to 3 younger siblings. I know it had to have been hard being an only child for 9 years to all of a sudden having a twin brother and sister. I know it must have been hard having them get a lot of the attention for a while. Then adding another kid to the mix a few years later changed things again.

I know some people whose parents divorced and I know plenty of divorced people now. No one gets through a divorce unscathed. Certainly his mother and me haven’t always seen eye to eye on things but I know that we are both coming from a place of love for him and truly want the best for him in all situations. Sometimes it’s hard putting our own issues aside for what truly is in his best interest. To watch Riley grow in these situations, sometimes I wonder who the parent is and who the child is. I know that he teaches me volumes of things.

John 5:19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.

I have tried to be a good role model for all of my kids. I hear the compliments about my oldest from his teachers, from his friends’ parents, from relatives, and from everyone who comes across his path. I would love to take credit for him having such great character but I can’t. I’m sure I have my part but I truly believe it’s because he’s surrounded by great people who love him so much. He also knows how much he is loved by God. That love gives him a confidence to branch out and try things that grown adults would have a hard time trying.

To see him on stage or performing anywhere is entertainment at its best. Anyone watching can just tell how comfortable he is up there. His love for that shines and brightens up even the darkest room.

I’m so blessed that God picked me to be his dad. It has grown me so much since that great day in June 1999. As our relationship continues to grow, as we continue to grow, I hope he always knows how much I love, value, and respect him and what an absolute shining star he is in my life. To see how much his younger siblings look up to him and to see how much they love spending time with him, is such a great thing to witness.

As we embark on to high school years and the challenges that those years will bring to both of us, I will look back at this night where he got a medal and a certificate. The certificate recognized him for possessing high qualities of Courage, Honor, Leadership, Patriotism, Scholarship, and Service. These are things that I already knew that he had. It’s truly an incredible thing to see him get nominated for this by his teachers and knowing that these are qualities that God has gifted him with. I’m so blessed to be along for the ride to see it.


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