Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Making Your Parents Proud

I got a call from my pops today.  He had just received his birthday gift and some pictures we had sent.  You see, my dad does not have a computer or the desire to access a computer even if he had the opportunity.  My dad is one of those guys who thinks this whole "inner net" thing is pretty silly.  Pretty ironic that he has two sons who are quite the opposite.  Because of that aversion, he has not had access to this blog or any of the verbal or pictorial updates.  I hadn't told him that I was losing weight.  I kind of wanted to surprise him the next time I saw him.  Plus, despite how this blog would appear, I really don't like bragging about what I have done.  Sure, I will blab on and on if you ask me about it.  But, I don't say a word about it if somebody else does not mention it first.  Somewhere along the line, one of my siblings informed him of the changes that his oldest son was going through and the secret was out.  So, I have given him updates over the last few months, but still no pics. 

A couple of weeks ago, he asked for some photos.  So, I printed about 15 pictures that showed the gradual (despite how fast you may think it was, it feels GRADUAL to me!) progress I have made from the Fat Penguin picture to the picture from a couple of weeks ago.  He called today to thank us for the gift.  But, he mostly wanted to comment on how great I looked.  Now, this may not seem like a big deal.  But, my dad is not real big on compliments.  Unlike his sappy oldest child, he does not get all mamby-pamby that often.  Not that he never gives a compliment or gets emotional.  It's just that they don't happen real often and they are somewhat subdued when they occur.  I remember coming home from school with straight A's and giving my report card to my mom.  She would read the subject and then announce, "A!" and then do a clap and cheer like the crowd was going wild.  It was goofy, but funny to me at the time.  My dad, on the other hand, would come home from work, take a quick look at my report card, and say, "Good job" with far less enthusiasm then those words might imply.  So today, I could hear his genuine excitement after seeing the photos of me, and it made me smile.  He was so thrilled and he mentioned how good I looked repeatedly.   

My mom doesn't have that problem.  As I mentoned in the story above, my mom has always been hugely supportive of anything anybody in her family does, no matter how insignificant it is.  A little over a year ago, my mom informed us that she was leaving Pueblo and heading out to San Diego to be near my brother and his newborn daughter.  I wasn't thrilled by this news.  But, I understood why she was making the move and I was happy for my brother and my niece.  My mom has made the trip back to Pueblo on a quarterly basis for work.  While it's not the same as her living here, it has been often enough to make her moving a little easier.  However, there was one nice thing about my mom moving away.  The timing of that move took place right before I started this journey.  So, my mom has not been here while I have lost the weight.  It is much more difficult to notice when you are around someone daily or weekly because the changes happen so gradually.  Seeing these updates once every three months can be a lot more impactful.  I have enjoyed her reactions to seeing her son every three months.  I keep thinking I just saw her and then it hits me that I have probably lost 15-25 pounds in that short time.  On her most recent visit, I got the usual enthusiastic response when she pulled up to the house.  But, what was even better than that initial reaction was the number of times throughout the first couple of days she was here that I realized she was staring at me in amazement, as if to say, "Who is this person?".  The differnce is so shocking that she seemed surprise every single day when she saw me for the first time!  That makes me smile too.

I learned today that making your parents proud never gets old, no matter what age you are.  I also learned that parents should never stop letting their kids know they are proud of them, even if they believe their kids are too old to care.  I will remember this as my kids get older... not that I imagine I will ever have a problem in this area.  Here's to making your parents proud at any age and still being thrilled to hear about it...

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