An Apology, A Hope and A Prayer

I think I may have to spend the rest of my life apologizing.  Not for the things that I have done (I probably need eternal life for that!) but for the things that I didn’t do, or even worse, the things that I didn’t realize were so serious.

I never understood the tears of parents on the first day of Kindergarten!  Didn’t they realize how much fun their child was going to have?

I couldn’t for the life of me understand the angst when a child moved to first grade!  Just think about all the time you will have all day with them in school!

How can you not be thrilled as they begin Middle School?  Don’t you know that it will not be long before you can have intelligent conversation?

What do you mean you dread them getting their driver’s license?  Now you have someone else to make that run to the grocery store in the middle of the game!

I understand college, with tuition!  That one I always got!

And even FOB–Father’s-of-the-Bride!  Again expenses!

But going through it!!!

So let me begin!  I am sorry!  I am sorry that I didn’t call on the first day of kindergarten, Middle School and College.  I promise you that I have so much more sympathy for FOB after walking my daughter down the aisle, just wondering if I was going to be able to hold it together.

I am so sorry!

But someone never told me about Graduate School!  I left Savannah in Austin, Texas where she is beginning her MSW.  And yes I know Austin is a great place and UT is a wonderful school and she will have a great time!  I know all that!

But it isn’t about her!  It is about me!  That is what I said to her yesterday morning, through tear stained eyes, as I held on to her standing in her apartment.  She said very simply, “You will be OK.”

Suddenly I was walking across the parking lot at First Baptist, Greenville, taking her into her last year at kindergarten.  I reached for her hand to head across the parking lot because that was the rule!  She resisted, because after all, she was 6!  And I told her, “But next year I won’t have anyone’s hand to hold.”

Savannah reached over and patted my hand and said, “You will be OK, Daddy.

16 years later that is still my prayer and my hope.



Filed under Life issues

4 responses to “An Apology, A Hope and A Prayer

  1. Thanks for the transparency and depth of that view into your life. It brought back memories for me as I walked those paths with my kids again.

  2. This is a wonderful column, Don, but I have to tell you that you are right about your daughter being in a wonderful place to get her MSW. You see, I did my PhD in Social Work at UT-Austin, finishing in 2009. I know the faculty there very well, and still count many as friends. She couldn’t do any better if she tried. The faculty there are unbelievably fine people. (By the way, I found your blog on Facebook. John Hewett is a friend of mine for many years now.) I hope Savannah loves UT-Austin as much as I did! Hook ’em Horns!

  3. James Devine

    Thanks Don, I cried like a baby this morning just thinking about all the graduations that lie ahead for us with Emily. I am hoping I can be there for her college life,

  4. Mike Jones

    Don, It won’t get any better. I feel the same way now with my grandson. He is going into the second grade and it feels like I raising my son all over again. And when your time comes to have grandchildren you will feel a new and greater type of love that I know your mother has probably talked about. Life is good and these tears of joy reminds us of how precious life is. It’s beautiful to look at a child or grandchild and know that at least a little part of you is responsible for that wonderful spectacle that you see standing before you.

    Take care Don.

    I still see that little blonde hair boy jumping on my bus ready to go to school in the back of my mind. You see I still have good memories of times past also.

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