We were home this past weekend for a "surprise" visit. It was wonderful to be able to spend time with each of our kids and to be able to join in with my family reunion. There were two things that happenned this weekend though that really showed me how our boys have watched their father and learned from his example.
On Friday Jason graduated from the military. This was the main reason for us flying home for the weekend. Jason did not know we were flying in for the graduation ceremony. As a mtter of fact, he didn't realize we were there until part way through the ceremony. When he saw me standing there taking his picture a big grin came over his face. He truly was surprised.............and very pleased.
When the graduation formalities were over, the platoon marched out of the hall and were out for about 5 minutes before they were permitted to return to the reception that followed. When they were permitted to come in, I walked towards Jason to give him a hug and let him know how proud I was of him. When he reached me, he said "hold on a minute", walked over to Alyson, gave her a hug and a kiss, then came back to give me a hug. It was then that I realized how much he has watched and learned from his father.
On Saturday, we went to the Sears family reunion at my sister's house. I was standing at the sink in the kitchen washing some salad when my 12 year old nephew bent over to pick something up and had his bum sticking up in the air. I COUNLDN'T RESIST! A nephew's bum in the air is the perfect place for an aunt to plant a foot! As I went to give him a "kick", my feet came out from under me, I flew up laterally into the air, and came down with a very hard thud on my back. I came down so hard that I knocked the air out of both lungs and couldn't breath. As well, my back was in a great deal of pain. I yelled out for Bruce, but it was James that got to me first. The look of panic on his face and the distress in his voice brought me back and calmed me down. After an assessment from Uncle Ron and Aunt Sue (who are a physician and a nurse), I was back on my feet, sore, but on my feet (I thought I may have broken my toe, however I did not. My foot however has gone black across the top, and I have bruises up my back, but I am OK). I watched James the rest of the day as he watched me. Before he left for that evening, he came to me to make sure I was OK. It was then that I realized how much he has watched and learned from his father.
It has always facinated me how children will pick and choose what behaviours of their parents they will emulate. You can never tell if it will be the positive behaviours, or the negative ones. I can honestly say that my boys have picked up on what is positive in their father. James watched over the years as Bruce watched over his mother, and stepped in to care for her when needed. Bruce's calls to her to say "hey Mum, how are you doing" were heard by his boys. On Saturday, although I scared the living bejeebers out of him, James took the role with me Bruce did with his own mother. The careful watchman.
One thing I have always known with Bruce is that I am loved and that I am the centre of his world. He deeply loved and respected his mother, however he was clear with the fact that I was his priority. Jason has made this very clear with Alyson as well. He deeply loves me and respects me.......I know that, and I know he always will. I also know that he has his priorities straight and as such, he and Alyson have a great start in their marriage. She is his priority, and always will be.
Many men rely on the examples of their own father to determine how they will parent their own children and set the example for them. Bruce was not fortunate enough to have a positive father figure as he was growing up. He therefore had to look at others around him, and figure it out for himself. He was bound and determined to be a good father to his children, and to set a positive example. As such, his sons have had a wonderful example before them, and as such they have become wonderful, caring young men who have their priorities straight.
Bruce.............you done good!!!!!!!
Bruce, Jason & James