Sunday, September 4, 2011
Awards & Validation
My sons are transitioning well into college and the senior year of high school.
My oldest is considering joining a business fraternity that offers internships to all its members. He claims that the members last year all got jobs within 3 months of graduation. He is doing well socially, but I knew that would be one of his strengths. When he auditioned for admittance into the music dept., the head of the music college was there, and was so impressed he invited my son out to lunch off campus for an opportunity to get to know him.
There was a period of a week and a half, when my son wanted to drop a class he didn't feel he'd do well in and his adviser was against the request. But that has been worked out within the time deadline and my son is much happier with his new class. It was a good exercise for him to have to stand up for himself and go after what he knew in his heart was the right decision. And to accomplish that on his own.
My youngest, went through a few tough days himself at the start of the year when all of his teachers kept making references to his older brother. But he has received a few "awards" of his own. His graphic arts teacher told him that he is one of the top two, if not top graphic artist in the school. As such, he was drafted to design the cover for the Fall Band Festival Program, the Homecoming Tickets and the Fall Play Posters. He has been working on the band design first since it is due on Tuesday and I have to say that the design and format are pretty incredible. I couldn't do what he does creatively and then with the computer. Good for him to finally get some recognition in an area his brother is not a star.
I feel sad at times that the boys' dad isn't here to experience the talents and awards of his sons. When I tell people, the few in my life I do talk to about my sons there isn't the sense of pride and warmth that would come from a parent experiencing the successes of one of their own. When my husband was alive it was enough to share the successes, talents and accomplishments of our boys with each other. With him gone, I find that I make and effort to tell someone the good news about my sons simply because I have to share it with someone. But oftentimes, the end result is one of disappointment because quite simply, no one can love your kids more than you do. They may nod and smile and say "that's nice," but it is somewhat rote and superficial. Just another "loss" to tick off on my list - for my sons and for me. And one that is taken for granted by those married or if not, still with a co-parent in which to share and bask in the joy that comes from having decent and pretty good kids. And I suppose I should add, that most kids are pretty good and decent. And most talented in something. So I do think that most parents share these moments together at certain points in their kids' lives - the soccer goals scored, the academic recognition, the band or orchestra solos...
Parents can get off on bragging about their offspring to each other. I sometimes fear that I may come across as a braggart or overly involved with my sons because when I talk to people I do mention the successes of my kids. But it's not like I'm going to dwell on what isn't going well for them (which thankfully has never been that much). Still, you know how there is always that PTA mom out there that has to brag about how her kids are in the gifted program (real example from my past). When she spreads it on thick it can get annoying. I spread it on because if I don't, I just might burst - I have to not because I'm overly singing my sons' praises. I think that when our kids do well, we can feel validated that we've also done something well. And boy of boy, do widows need to feel and hear that praise.