I don’t think I could be prouder

Published 2:00 pm Wednesday, February 16, 2022

I am proud of my children. 

I don’t carry a wallet with photos in it. But I do carry a smartphone with hundreds of photos on it. 

Probably thousands, honestly. 

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The pride I have is the kind I hope my parents have in me, and that I hope others have in their children, as well. 

I could start by giving you a list of things they have accomplished — their education, skills, musical talents, artistic talents, managerial skills, jobs they hold, awards they have won, scholarships they have earned, etc. I am proud of them for these things, but that’s not really what I’m talking about. I am proud of their hearts for other people. And it doesn’t matter what the person looks like, how they dress, where they live or anything else. All that matters is they are people.

Often one of my five children has been late to an event, or late getting home, because they were helping someone else. Just one example from a few years ago: One of my sons called and said he’d be late coming home from his classes because he saw an elderly man trying to repair his fence. My son was helping fix the fence while the man took a break and told him what needed to be done. He worked for that man every day for about a week until the fence and other outdoor repairs were complete — all with just refreshments for pay, and he would have done it without that. 

Although each of them deals with things like anxiety, depression and/or obsessive compulsive disorders at some level, they each have gone out of their way to help someone else who was struggling in similar ways. Another example from a couple of years ago: I was with one of my daughters at a school-related event when she said she’d be right back. She walked over to another girl about her age and spoke with her briefly. They both smiled, hugged and waved as my daughter came back to me. “Is that one of your friends?” “Now. But I didn’t know her before,” she said. She said the girl looked uncomfortable in the crowd just like my daughter said she felt, so she wasn’t smiling. My daughter had complimented the girl’s hair and shirt and promised to catch up with her when the event continued. “I just wanted to see her smile,” she said.

Foregoing a favorite school cafeteria meal to sit in another building with someone who was allergic to what the school was serving; approaching a stranger to offer help with a door or packages even though the thought of interaction with an unknown person was terrifying; putting extra effort into making someone feel welcomed and involved even in a situation where they themselves did not — these are all examples of the consistent, repeated character of my children.

I would like to take the credit for their attitudes, because I certainly hope some of it came from their dad. But of course, they have loving mothers, grandparents and other people who have made a positive difference in their lives.

Now they’re making those differences in the lives of others. 

And for this, I couldn’t be prouder. 


News editor Brett Campbell can be reached at brett.campbell@dailyleader.com.