In which I am a proud father (this is not a repost)

My son, Ryan, graduated college with a creative writing degree this past December. He got a job immediately after school, and moved all the way across the country to work there. I miss him every single day, but I'm incredibly proud of him, and the work he's doing.

Earlier today, I read something he wrote for work. It was so evocative and beautiful, I emailed him, quoted it, and told him how much I loved it.

He wrote back, "Not going to lie, I thought to myself, how would Wil say this? That's a little bit of you there."

I got something in both of my eyes. He was talking about the phrasing, but… in my mind, he was talking about something much more meaningful and personal to both of us. After my vision cleared, I replied, "I am so happy for you, and so proud of you. I have something in both of my eyes. I love you!"

He sent back, "You're the best. I love you too."

I got something in my eyes all over again (I really need to change the filter on our heater, I guess), and then I read the email chain to Anne. She didn't get anything in her eyes for a change, but she told me that she thought it was awesome.

And you know what? It is awesome. I don't know if every parent thinks the way we do, but when our boys were little, we believed that we were not just making sure they were healthy and safe; we were doing our best to help them grow into the kind of adults we'd like to have around us. We took the responsibility of raising (rearing, if you're pedantic about that sort of thing) our children very seriously. It wasn't easy, with their biological father undermining us at every opportunity, and making things unbelievably hard on all of us. No, it wasn't easy at all, but we always stayed focused on what was important, and today, every time I talk to my kids, they say or do something that shows us we succeeded… and that is the most awesome thing in the world.

66 thoughts on “In which I am a proud father (this is not a repost)”

  1. There must be something wrong with my computer screen, because it went all blurry when I read this.
    My parents adopted my younger brother and I shortly after my fifth birthday. I was old enough at the time to recognize the second chance I’d been given and was finally able to have a happy childhood. Even still, it took a long time to get over the hurt my biological parents caused me. My new family was there to support me every step of the way. 16 years later, I’m one semester from graduating from University. Mom and dad couldn’t be prouder.
    Thanks, Wil, for reminding us of what it means to be a parent.

  2. Thank you!! Thanks to you and Anne for rasing/rearing your kids into “the kind of adults we’d (all) like to have around us.”
    I don’t feel enough parents think that way.
    Now I must go find a kleenex – darn dust!

  3. As a stepmother, one of the sayings I like is from a country song: “Blood is thicker than water, but love is thicker than blood.”
    A few days ago, my stepdaughter was driving me to the doctor when her father called. She was not in the mood for his usual BS and just hung up on him several times. “Wow,” I thought…”Karma’s gonna get you.”
    I know your boys were lucky to have you, Wil, and of course vice versa.

  4. My 4 year old recently started drawing pictures that look like things and writing her name in these big letters (the E has four lines sticking out of the upwards line for example), but it makes me tear up when she hands them to me. Congratulations to you on a job well done. I look forward to having to change my own air filters in the future…

  5. Now if you could just find the time to get with the boys from Acquisitions Incorporated and give us fans a new series of video or audio Podcasts we’d all have some new memories to enjoy. :)

  6. Wil,
    I noted in blogs you relate memories that came from listening to songs. How about you turn that around. Why not make a RFB style recording for Ryan where the music fits your memories/feeling of him?
    Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto!

  7. Wil, that’s awesome. Like you, I have step-kids that I love to death. When our daughter got married she made a speech and toasted her “Parents” and pointed to my partner and me. I think the filter on your heater was affecting my eyes that night too.
    I love reading how proud you are of your family, and how much they love you right back. Awesome.

  8. (I could have sworn I have posted something earlier…)
    It is often said someone has “won the internet!” Congratulations Wil, you have Won Hollywood!
    You have won by showing that true success is not measured by wealth or privilege, nor by the amount or level of work one does. You have won by the fact that you work successfully in H-Wood and still consider your greatest achievement to be your family. You have moved people not only with the body of your work, but also by being a great guy and a fantastic role-model.
    Kudos

  9. Hi Wil,
    I had vowed to hate you forever after your cruel treatment of Sheldon on the BBT (Yes I know Sheldon is a fictional character), but after that post I find I cannot. It’s hard enough to raise your “own” (meaning biological) kids (I know I have four of them). I have the utmost respect for anyone who takes someone else’s and loves them until it’s clear that biology doesn’t a parent make.
    The upshot? I no longer hate you, but will you please be nice to Sheldon? He’s clearly a “special” person who needs your compassion. (Yes this is my lame attempt at a joke. Just roll with it.)

  10. Awesome news! Parenting does have its rewards (though sometimes few and far between).
    I’m glad to see someone CAN get a job after majoring in creative writing! My daughter graduates with a degree in English (creative writing emphasis) in August, and I am frankly worried.

  11. Thanks for this. As a SAHM with a 17 month-old and another on the way, it’s encouraging to hear success stories from those further down the road that the love and care you put in early on makes life a real joy later on.

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