Friday, June 1, 2012

You Are My Sunshine

The day #1 son was born was one of those first child stories everyone has. You don't know if was as dramatic as memory preserves, or if you were just a novice. In either case (as with all new parents) his arrival was a life changer. When he finally came into the light I said to him; "There you are, we have been waiting for you." He turned and looked right at me as my wife and I cried.

Right from the start he was just the happiest guy ever. He found joy in everything and would laugh so hard that he couldn't hold up his head. We had a fish tank and we would scoot his chair up to it and let him watch the fish with wonderment. His first word was "fish" and the first trip we ever went on as a family was to Silver Springs so he could say his only word over and over while pointing into the clear water. 

He was always extremely bright and we would let him talk for as long as he wanted. Through out his first years of school it became routine for his teachers to tell us how smart, polite and kind he was. His memory was other worldly and he routinely learned dances and lyrics to movies and TV shows. Ms. W.B. and I would be entertained for hours watching him sing and move with the characters from the Wizard of Oz and other shows.

The early years of parenthood were tough. We had very little money. My wife and I worked full time jobs and I played music four to five nights a week. We were exhausted most of the time and not the happiest folks in the world. Cray was always a calming force in our life and a constant reminder of how blessed we were to be a family. It was just impossible to be in a foul mood when that kid came into the room beaming with happiness. His brother arrived thirteen months after he did and Cray was never out of his reach. Cory would make noises and talk in sounds we couldn't decipher and Cray would turn to us and say "cheerios" or whatever it was that Cory needed and then Cory would be fine. He has always been intuitive.

I have always been hard on gentle souls. I have a harshness that I accumulated with life. It has not been easy on Cray to have me as a Dad. I am tough guy to be around on my best day. Cray only sees good in the world and approaches every situation with wonder. We used to call him Captain Positive because he always has seen the upside of everything in his gaze. Once when I was taking the boys to the park on an over cast day, I felt the need to prepare them for the possibility of rain. I said to them; "Now guys if it rains we won't be able to play at the park okay?" Cray quickly replied; "But if it doesn't rain we can play for a long time right?" That is his world view in a nut shell. He has made me a better person and softened my edges, often at his expense.

Cray excelled in school and was an honor student all through middle and high school. He was on the high school swim team and works as a life guard for the city. He saved money to go to France last year with the French Honor Society. He volunteered one hundred hours of community service, for Bright Futures. He is graduating with honors from high school with thirty three college credit hours. He is attending F.S.U. in the fall. I have no idea where the time went.

I am so profoundly honored to have him as a son and friend. He is quite simply one of the best humans I have ever known. I am in awe of his intellect and the kindness with which he lives his life. People love to complain about their teenagers, but everyday I see that guy and the way he handles himself, I feel a gratitude for having him in my life I could never put into words.

Congratulations my Son.