Reader, please indulge me this morning. I have a lot of wonderful things planned for this week, but tomorrow my youngest son begins high school. So, I would like to take the time to encourage him as well as have a little fun at his expense.
Over the course of my life, I have been blessed and mightily so. I have no idea why I, among others, am deserving of such favor. And of all my many blessings, perhaps I am most thankful for my four children. I have been blessed with four very beautiful, very intelligent children, who never cease to bring me joy. And tomorrow one of those children reaches a milestone in his life.
My youngest son, the irrepressible Aaron Beaste, begins high school tomorrow. That is him up top wearing the orange tights with the band-aid on his little noggin. I try to stay away from clichés, but I just have to say it. The time has gone by so quickly.
I remember bringing him home from the hospital. He was my wife’s first child, and she absolutely doted on him, devoted every waking hour to him. She insisted that he sleep in the bed with us until he was maybe eighteen months when I insisted that he sleep in his own room in his own bed. That first week or so was rough. He was in one bed crying while my wife was in another crying, but it was past time he made that move.
And young Aaron Beaste had to have been the very cleanest baby in the whole world. My wife bathed him after meals, after changing his diaper; anytime he might have gotten the least bit dirty. And she bathed him in the kitchen sink which I never could figure out.
Let me take the time to throw in the obligatory “naked baby pictures.” I’ve got an album full of them. Evidently, people think that’s cute.
But anyway, I have to admit even if it is my own son, he was a cute baby. I remember being at a bar-b-q when he was maybe two or three years of age, and this older matronly lady just kept staring at him. We could not figure out why and began to get a little uncomfortable, but she finally informed my wife that with those long eyelashes, and that fine curly hair, he was so pretty that he should have been a girl.
It’s hard to believe that same cute little baby boy with those bow-legs is the same hairy teenage sleeping in the back bedroom of my house and wearing a groove in my floor from his room to the refrigerator, and leaving a permanent dent in my couch. It seemed so much easier to love him when he was small and cute and could not talk.
But, Aaron Beaste, you already know the expectations of me and your mother. We only expect you to do your very best and give your very best one hundred percent of the time. And since you have been blessed with many substantial gifts and talents, your very best will take you very far indeed.
Remember the lessons your mother has taught you. Remember the lessons I have taught you. Remember to smile and laugh and thoroughly enjoy your life when the time calls for it. However, also remember to put your nose to the grindstone when the time calls for that as well. And always, but always, seek to make the right choices; do the right thing.
And yes, your mother was a part of this. In fact, she showed me where she kept the “naked baby” photo album. You know I had no idea where it was.