Evidence of “Proud Parenthood” is all around us: be them bumper stickers plastered all over the back of a mini van, perfect attendance certificates from elementary school, or first place ribbons from last weekend’s swim meet.
Parents are quick to boast the accomplishments of their kids—why not? Children, supposed images created in the likeness of their mothers and fathers, and their personal triumphs are substantial proof that parents have truly done their job—kept their child on the straight-and-narrow path, taught them the value of respect and responsibility, and allowed their children to succeed in whatever field they choose. Being proud of this success is nothing to ridicule. I am a firm believer in the fact that success breeds success, and parents should be filled with pride when thinking about the great strides their child has made in his/her life.
I, for one, am a Proud Son.
My own life has been filled with certain accomplishments: traveling the world as a Student Ambassador, marching in the Tournament of Roses Parade, graduating in the top two percent of my high school class, and being accepted to the college of my dreams, to name a few. These successes, however, dim in comparison to the feeling which arises in me when I think of my mother. She is the brightest, funniest, and the most spirited person I know; I am more than proud to be thought of as a spitting image of my mother.
Her strength of spirit was tested most recently when our house was ransacked, and many of my mother’s valuables—that were her late mother’s—were stolen. Many of my personal items were taken as well, but I couldn’t help but cry to think that my mother’s only jewelry, that was valued more sentimentally than any monetary appraisal, would never again be seen my mom, and would probably be sold to some passerby at any pawn shop. Hearing my mother say, “Patrick, my heart hurts”, was one of the lowest of lows in my life: how could our family go on when the single-most unifying factor was hurt beyond belief?
Police reports were filed, neighborhood watches were instituted, and my mother’s strength began to resurface. Although I will probably never see any of the valuables that were taken from my family, I did gain from this experience. I am so glad to have seen my mother at a low point; from there I saw her ability to bounce back from this traumatic experience. This resiliency is something that I respect and hope to acquire in my own life.
I am proud of my mother for teaching me how to cope with pain, but more importantly, how to recover. My mother has taught me so much in the twenty years, one month, and eleven days that I have been lucky enough to call myself her son, and I can only hope that I can make such a great impact on my children’s lives as my mom has made on mine.
Mom, I love you, and I am so, so very proud of you.
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