Reno and I both had a tough time when I came into the picture and married his mom. I think we both found it tricky, figuring out how we each fit into our new family. At the time, he was a little withdrawn, and sometimes acted like he might have felt as though it was his fault that his father went away.
But I got here almost seven years ago, and we’ve both come a long way since then. At least, I’d like to think I’ve come a long way. I know Reno has.
He made the honor roll every semester in high school, graduating with honors (did I mention that, yet?). He also played water polo (Coach’s Award two years in a row) and was a gifted singer (and occasional soloist) in choir. And in his spare time, he became an Eagle Scout.
At the graduation ceremony, they have a photographer at the back of the stage (which was set up on the football field). Your name gets called, you pick up your diploma, shake the principal’s hand and walk to the rear of the stage, down some steps and back around to your seat. Just before you walk down the steps, the photographer takes your picture (which parents and relatives buy in all manner of formats (including coffee mugs and keychains).
Some kids just smile. Others pose or wave. And then there are those who pause and reveal their superhero identities.
This all happened on a Thursday, which is typically my busiest day of the week. I have an enormous amount of work that has to be done every Thursday, and due to the time-sensitive nature of it, most cannot be done in advance. When I’ve explained it to my kids, I’ve told them it was like I had two term papers that had to be finished before I went to bed on Thursday nights. Typically, this tended to make me kind of a stressed-out jerk on Thursdays.
But I started to try to live like I’d already won the lottery (which has been kind of like the theme of this blog). And while my job would go away if I did come into that kind of windfall, I would still work, even if it was just for myself. There would still be things that had to be done, and there would still be deadlines. I couldn’t let that take over in the future, otherwise what would be the point of having all that money if I couldn’t enjoy it.
So I wasn’t going to let it take over now, when I have plenty around that’s worth so much more than money. I’m only sorry that I didn’t do this sooner. I missed so much of the kids’ lives before I got here. And focusing so much on work, has made me miss too much since I got here.
I’m very glad I didn’t let it keep from celebrating Reno’s huge achievement last week, and it won’t keep me from celebrating at his Eagle Scout ceremony this weekend.
I am so excited for you, as you pass these huge milestones, and get ready to start your next great adventure. And the only thing that would be different if I really did in win the lottery, is that I would have bought you a car as a graduation present. Which, of course, you would have left in our driveway while you headed off to college!
Congratulations, Reno! I am so proud of you! And I love you!
P.S. - Just got word, shortly after I posted this, that Reno has officially been accepted to his first choice of schools! Proud and excited all over again!