What the boy said about me

One of these days, it will sink in. Especially when the words come from my own son.

He’s said it before multiple times and I’ve blown it off. That’s nice, I would smile. Now go clean your room. Get to bed. We’ve got more important things to do.

But last night, he said it again, from his bed, shortly before drifting off to sleep.  I was ready to walk out of the room when he called me over one more time. The room was dark and I knelt close to him so I could hear him, my head inches from his face while he talked in quiet tones.

I just got through telling him what I loved about him. Wasn’t expecting him to respond in kind. Wasn’t expecting the level of sincerity, and how the words would hit me hard.

His message? You don’t know how good you are, dad.

You’re more than just a blogger, he said.

You’re more than a columnist, he said. You could have an audience that reaches the whole world. You make people laugh. You make them cry. You have a way with details.

“You’re a legend,” he said.

My first thought: This 14-year-old speaks fluent hyperbole. I need him to run my dad PR firm whenever I get in trouble with mom. What teen tells something like that to their parent?

Wonder what would happen if I saw myself the way he sees me. I bet things would be different. Bet I wouldn’t flounder as much as I feel I do.

After he was done, I thanked him. I told him I needed his help to never settle for mediocrity, to always reach for the stars.

And if he already feels that way about me, then in a way, I’ve already succeeded.

3 Replies to “What the boy said about me”

  1. That is so darned sweet. Kids say the darndest things don’t they. I loved your comment “Wonder what would happen if I saw myself the way he sees me”. I think that all the time about myself with my fifteen-year-old son. He has said some of those types of things to me too. The problem is, I heard different things from my father. Things that hurt, things that stuck. It’s hard for me to believe anything else I hear and I am forty six years old!!

    You do have a way with words, Mike. And even though I don’t know you personally, you have touched a cord with me, if only to make me laugh. But being Mormon, as I, and having a great family, as I (minus the spouse, I don’t have one of those any more); I feel I can relate….if only a little. Thank you.

  2. When a 14-year-old boy can say something like that to a parent, you have to know you’ve succeeded. I’ve never met him, but he sounds like a wonderful kid.

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