ode to a boy

I am the blessed, proud, and thankful mother of two grown children. My daughter, my dearest friend, is married, extremely talented, and owns her own design business. More about her later. Our son, still good for a hug at any time, is working as a civil engineer at a local, well-respected firm. This is a bit about him.

Even when he was little, he was tall, and active, and funny. He talked ALL the time. Our daughter could look at things with her eyes, but he had to look with his hands. He started playing sports at an early age. Here’s his T-ball team picture.

Mark Tball

He had to overcome a few hardships, like a crossed eye and poor fine motor skills. (The latter is still a matter of debate, and it took me a while to figure it out, but despite his denials, it is true. And he has overcome it, thank goodness. And because he wore unbelievably thick glasses from age four, his eye is corrected as well.)

He is very smart, a quick thinker, and a bit of an underachiever. This is somewhat typical for boys, but one of his high school teachers told him he knew that our son was smart but that he (our son) didn’t want anyone to know it. Thankfully our son figured out that this academic ability was one of his strengths and he learned to use it to his benefit.

He was quite athletic in high school. He loved football, but his real gift was in basketball. Many people told us how they loved to watch him play. Here’s a picture of him guarding a player from another school that went on to play one year at UNC and now plays for the NBA. And our son guarded him well that night.


Along the way, his group of friends changed for various reasons. He started hanging out with some guys who were fishermen and duck hunters, and that introduced him to one of his favorite pastimes.

duck hunting

College was fun for him, a little too much fun at first, but he figured that out, too. He took a little extra time to finish, but he worked along the way and got some good engineering experience along with his classes. Last May he graduated (Hallelujah!) and came home to find a job.

His job search and his time “back home” lasted from May to July (not long!). Last summer, in between interviews, he worked on his golf game. One day he let me ride along on a course in the area of Nashville where I grew up. This brought back memories for me, and it was a sweet time together.

Shelby Park last hole

So he went to work and got a place of his own to live. Just last month he had his first performance review at work. We knew he really liked his job, but we thought this review would let us know what the company thinks of him. (We still haven’t been allowed to “stop by” and see where he works and meet some of his colleagues. Maybe one day…)

Mark came for dinner and told us about this review. The “bosses” told him he hadn’t been there long enough for a bonus. But they said they were very pleased with his work, and that he had far exceeded their expectations.  They went on complimenting him and his work for a bit (we got few details of that, just a general statement), and then… he WAS given a nice bonus AND a big raise.

So his dad and I teared up with pride and joy. He was doing well, and we were not the only ones who recognized that in him. We are proud of you, son, and blessed and thankful, too. More importantly, we know you are proud and thankful as well.  You have found yourself and your place in life for now – and it is a very good place to be.

11 thoughts on “ode to a boy

  1. You’ve done a lovely job painting a portrait of your son in a well-paced little package. As much as I tell my little boys they are not allowed to grow up, I look forward to being able to reflect on their journey to adulthoods, as you have done so beautifully.

  2. Patricia Holloway says:

    Congratulations to your son! I know you are very proud of him and his accomplishments. It is a big world out there, glad he found his niche. I empathize because my son’s story is similar.

  3. jhaworthoy says:

    I loved reading your son’s journey…and could feel the support his parents gave throughout. Very touching post and the pictures were icing on the cake. Jackie http://familytrove.blogspot.com/

  4. Ahh…sweet boy, athletic boy, thoughtful young man! I will make it my goal to discuss Jeff in depth sometime this month. You give me such inspiration. The pictures are wonderful also. By the way, I love watching basketball…my favorite people those defenders. xo

  5. I, too, have a son. As I read your piece I smiled at the way you captured him over time. Can’t wait to hear about your daughter!

  6. Tara Smith says:

    That’s lovely – he is a fine young man, who has much to be proud of.

  7. Judy C. says:

    A fine young man you have guided through his many facets of his life. You and your hubby have right to feel proud of him. He is where he is today because of his perseverance and your guidance. I look forward to reading about your daughter.

  8. Thanks to all for your encouraging words. I will write about our daughter soon, but here’s a link to a story about her I wrote a while back: https://fireflytrails.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/the-true-heart-of-a-player-solc-22/

  9. Congrats to your son on having overcome adversity to play sports, graduate from college, and to do well at work. How wonderful for you and your husband to relish in his accomplishments!

  10. Leigh Anne says:

    What a proud momma you must be!

  11. elsie says:

    It’s so great when our kids become the person we know they can be. Your pride shines through.

Thanks for reading! Please leave a comment so I can know what is on YOUR mind!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s