As the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML will tell you, I don't appreciate these scenes. They're trite, maudlin, and spectacularly lazy. It also usually launches me into an unhinged rant on the nature of parent-child relationships and as her nom de guerre suggests, SML has an unending well of patience with me, but she's done with these rants, so we aren't watching a lot of this type of television together and that's probably for the best.
|The Great Mullet Debacle of 2014|
Not our finest hour. Let's not
talk about it ever again.
Let me tell you a secret about a father's love
A secret that my daddy said was just between us
He said daddies don't just love their children every now and then
It's a love without end, amen
It's a love without end, amen
As I've listened to that song multiple times, more than one tear has fallen from my eyes as I think about this good young man, my son, and the pride I have in him, as well as the unending love I feel. Even during the Great Mullet Debacle of 2014 wherein we experienced a taste of the Seventh Ring of Hell that no parent should have to endure, I've loved this son of mine to the Moon and back, just as I have his sisters.
|Holding him after 18 months of not seeing each other|
My son, The RM, is now somehow on the precipice of marrying a smart, capable, lovely young woman and starting a completely new phase of life. I can't help but marvel at how this has all played out. Wasn't it just yesterday that I held him in my arms for the first time, still smarting from the fact that I didn't get to finish a burrito because he decided to turn up fast? Wasn't it just yesterday that I held both him and his mother as a doctor set his broken arm (first of three, but who's counting)? Wasn't it just yesterday that we threw our arms around each other in a victory hug in the bleachers at Wrigley at our first Cubs game? Wasn't it just over a year ago when we threw our arms around him as he emerged from behind the Curtain of Incompetence (AKA the TSA) at the Hartford Airport as he returned from his missionary service as a mature young man? I held him for a good long time that day, remembering all the times I held him before and then, as you see from the picture above, I stood back and marveled at my son. I marveled at the man he'd become. I marveled at what the future held for him. I marveled that somehow I had something to do with raising him and his sisters into the good people that they are. (On that point, I need to give credit where credit is due right now: the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML is why my children are who they are. Also, she is a saint.)
In the coming days, he and I will have a few more 'advice' sessions and I'm sure he won't remember a lot of it. I hope he'll remember the good things I've tried to demonstrate as his father and as a husband to his mom. In thirteen days, I'll hold him again as I wrap my arms around him and through my tears, of which there will be many, I'll say 'Congratulations, son,' as he embarks on a new life as a husband. I'll give my new daughter-in-law a hug and say 'He's yours now. Buena suerte!'
Like that cowboy philosopher George Strait said of a father's love for his children, "It's a love without end, amen." I could not agree more.