This past Thursday and Friday I was able to attend two events in which my children were participating. The first was our school’s winter concert, where my son is a percussionist in one of the bands. The second was a local production of Shrek Jr. with a nearby theatre troop.
As I sat in the audience and saw my children perform, I felt something wonderful.
I felt pride.
Not the toxic form of pride, which declares both me and mine deserve to be better than everyone else. This is the type of pride which eventually spirals down in to destructive bitterness. Rather, I experienced a pride in my children which made me feel honored to be associated with them. It touched me deeply.
Both are attempting things which would never occurred to me at their ages. In middle school, and much of high school, I was so uncertain of myself that I dared very little. My grades suffered, my confidence was minimal, and had a difficult time excelling. My kids are genetically connected to me, so I have seen some similar struggles as they emerge into adolescence – yet, somehow, they’re still willing to stretch out and explore their talents anyway.
In sixth grade my son came up to me to of the blue and said, “I want to learn drums.” It took me by surprise, as I had never really noticed him randomly tapping to music, but we figured we might as well let him try. He’s turned out to be really good, and it was amazing to see him handling some complex percussion parts during his concert. He’s got a drum set at home now, and plays frequently [^Surprised]. His next big project is to learn how to code 1.
My daughter is a talented artist and is a pretty dang good character actress. I typically don’t like to put many photos of my kids online 2, but as this video of her is already online I figure I’ll share it here.
I am very proud to be the father of these two children. Please let me be clear, they are not perfect. Each has their own hiccups, idiosyncrasies, and struggles which can make it difficult to parent them. But I am proud of the young adults they are becoming.