BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The following is an editorial from WBRC FOX6 Sports Director Rick Karle:
He graduated from high school three days ago. Oh, he's getting hyped for college and he's not looking back. But I am. Where did the 18 years go? They went toward (along with my wife) helping to raise my son Noah (my daughter Mia is 14, so there's lots of work yet to be done).
Yes, being a parent is tiring and demanding, but it's also absolutely awesome. I've been thinking of the memorable things I have seen over the last 18 years as my son has grown into a man.
- A head full of white hair when my wife gave birth
- A raisin stuck up a left nostril at age two.
- A superb performance by Dad as he used tweezers to remove said raisin
- A fall on the front porch that resulted in a busted lip
- The doctor holding my screaming son down while stitching up the lip
- My son sitting up after the last stitch and asking, "Can we go to Dairy Queen?"
- 4-year-old Noah seeing our priest and saying, "Hey, you go to my church!"
- Crazy and creative back flips on a trampoline coming much too easily
- The smile on my son's face when he caught his first fish
- A fall from a skateboard that resulted in a broken arm
- Years later, Noah playing goalie on a club soccer team, an overly-aggressive opponent, spikes up, breaking his other arm
- My son writhing in pain, standing up and finishing the game before the cast went on
- My son getting spiked in the teeth in regional soccer play yet never complaining
- My son never giving up, going on to win a state soccer championship at Indian Springs, where he went 66-7.
- His pain from a ruptured appendix
- His patience while being at Children's Hospital for fifteen days when complications arose
- His development as a basketball player, when down on the blocks he would kiss that ball off the glass
- The first time my son beat me at H-O-R-S-E
- Noah spending time with me golfing when he probably wished he was somewhere else
- Hearing that Noah jumped off a second story balcony at the beach (long story)
- My son's quick wit and dry sense of humor
- Noah learning to grind it out in mathematics
- A young man who is always great with young kids
- A teenager who has always dreamed big
- A son's dirty clothes being thrown over the upstairs railing (apparently teenagers have no idea where the washing machine is located)
- Spending time at the dinner table and listening to my son's world views
- A call late at night with a son saying, "I have a flat tire, can you help?"
- Dirty and very smelly sports gear and me thinking, "Gotta start with Spray & Wash"
- Giving my son a curfew and my son never missing one of them
- Hearing that my son drove some high school kids home when those kids partied a bit too much
- A son attending one of the most demanding high schools in the state and killing it
- My son getting a 32 on the ACT and taking the test again because he didn't think it was high enough.
- The look on my son's face when he learned he received a free ride at Alabama, Auburn and UAB
- My son's excitement when he was accepted to NYU
- A young man who will head to college in August, leaving a father that may be an emotional mess
- A young man whose future is unlimited
Every father and mother can fill a notebook full of stories about their kids. As we head toward the summer, maybe it's time we all take a moment to appreciate how special our kids have been to us. Perhaps our kids are bit smarter and more resilient than we think.
Me? I plan on enjoying every minute of my son until he heads off to college in late August. And I'll never stop enjoying his company after that.