One of my youngest son's teachers called me this morning to compliment him on his dedication in class. He is just two points away from an A and is doing his hardest to end up with that grade instead of a B. By coincidence or not, this is the same subject my late husband taught in H.S. My son's teacher told me he seems to have a real interest and knack for the subject. I was going to donate all of my husband's books to his old school or the resale shop - now I may consider holding on to them in case my youngest would like them.
I try not to brag too much to others about my boys. Over the years we have heard far more "complaints" than compliments. The boys went through some periods where they had defiant attitudes. Both boys were physically attacked in separate incidents. This teacher reminded me that he had last spoken to me in Fall when my son was stabbed with a pen at a football practice! Both of those attacks were totally unprovoked by my sons. Then there were all the times they were late for school and had to serve some detentions - and my oldest wore pants with too many rips in them and was sent home to change. (Actually, those sound like things kids do whether they've lost a parent or not.)
Anyway, I guess what I have been thinking about is that it is hard not to want to brag about the boys when my heart is overflowing with pride about them. If my husband were alive, we'd be celebrating this call together - but he isn't here. I try not to talk too much about the boys with my friends and family. I don't want to be considered one of those moms who thinks her kids walk on water. My boys certainly don't - but they're good kids and have gone through a lot and seemed to come out pretty well. It's hard living alone and not having someone to share this kind of thing with - to not be able to pick the phone up and tell my spouse the good news.
I was cleaning out the garage today and came across a collage of photos from the year their Dad died. The boys look so young and innocent in those pictures. I am glad this young man teaching my son took the time to tell me some positives about him. But I am most proud that my boys have grown into mature and decent young men despite much hardship.
This is what I am most grateful for each and every day.