In My Humble Opinion

hgrass by hgrass @
I've been feeling a little sorry for myself lately... what better time than to work on a blog post in the hopes of cheering me up.  I'm having some back issues, and it's been a tough road trip - because it's very difficult sitting.  This is the second time in my life that I've had trouble sitting, but compared to the last time... I really have no right to complain.  This time I have sciatica, which comes from back issues but manifests itself in leg pain and numbness in the butt, leg and foot.  And it mostly shows up after I sit for a while.  Life threatening... not hardly.  Annoying (and for me worrisome) - most definitely!

But enough about the negatives... this blog post (and all of mine) are about the positives, because that's the way I "roll".  I have 4 amazing sons, and I love to write about my family.  And my sons give me plenty of great material.  This month Andrew gets the nod.  It's even hard for me to keep track of them sometimes, so for you... Andrew is my second oldest, and the father of my 2 angel granddaughters Devyn and Madison.  Andrew was my strong willed child, and we had many a "meeting" in my office growing up.  My meetings had one main rule - they were not adjourned until I got my point across.  Andrew and I had some lengthy meetings!

That was so long ago and he has become such an amazing young man and I am so proud of him.  But something happened on my 61st birthday in September that "hit" me enough to frame a blog post around, and it comes from a special birthday present Andrew made for me.  The front of the frame has front and back shots of his high school and college diplomas, which in itself is a very cool present.  



But take a close look at the personalized note he wrote to me, which is attached to the back of the picture frame.  Hopefully you can read it.  



The note brings tears to my eyes as I read it again.  My favorite part is that he acknowledges that maybe the best part of his 4 years of college was not the diploma nor his budding career, but the fact that he met Lindsay and "created (sp) the family of my dream".

Parenting is not easy, and I had a great partner.  When parents are raising their kids, there are a ton of things they try to teach them.  Besides the obvious “lessons”, there are a few things that are better learned through example and osmosis, rather than through lecturing or disciplining. One that I really didn’t think about much when the boys were younger is “What kind of family would they want to have when they started their own, or what kind of spouse would they be “attracted” to?  They say sons tend to look for women who remind them of their mothers.  I’m not so sure that’s exactly what happened in our case, as Kate and Lindsay are both very much their “own women”.  But we couldn’t be happier with their choices, and it’s pretty cool watching our sons figure out how “easy” it is to be parents – NOT!

And just to be "fair and balanced", here’s another one of my birthday presents – this one from Justin and Kate is a framed picture of Me and Mister Man Sullivan Howard – at the beach this summer.  



Kate took this shot, and she is pretty damn good with a camera.  Carol and I are terrible with a camera, and Kate “volunteered” a few years ago to be "Team Photographer"… and just signed a lifetime contract.

Everyone complains that I’m so hard to buy presents for, and it IS hard to choose things for men as picky as me.  I got lots of great presents this birthday, but these 2 were special – and are both proudly displayed in my office.  Thanks boys for the thoughtful gifts.  (They are grown men, but will ALWAYS be “my boys”).  And especially to Andrew – it does feel good to feel appreciated.

Peace and Love…

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