I write about my son Dylan often. I was a late-in-life dad when he came into the world, and eight years later, he's still a fascinating little creature.
Dylan is a good kid. More than that, he has the makings of a guy who will be a good person as an adult. He's not perfect. He can't eat anything without ten percent of it ending up on the floor. Sometimes it's like pulling teeth to get him to do his homework. Sometimes he knees me in the privates when we're wrestling. I think it's accidental.
But yeah, in my heart and mind, Dylan shines in many ways. Still, Uncle E's post today in which he mentioned Dylan surprised me, and left me with a big lump in my throat. There's something about hearing or reading good things about my son from someone else--especially when that someone else is as thoughtful and perceptive as Uncle E--that just makes my heart swell anew.
The three of us went out boat camping on Lake Shasta on my last break at home before Dylan commenced going to school again. We had a wonderful time, but two days into the trip, Rhonda had pressing matters to attend to at her office, so Dylan and I dropped her off at the marina and headed back to camp. Dylan, at the age of eight, had spent a total of two nights away from Rhonda in his life. He was brave about the idea of two "dudes only" nights at the camp, but on the second morning without Mom, after we finished breakfast, I could tell that something was on his mind.
"Dad, if I tell you that I miss Mom, will it hurt your feelings?" I chuckled. "Of course not. I've had a great time with it being just the two of us, but I miss your mom too."
Dylan said, "I've had a great time too, until now. Now, it seems boring without Mom. She's always so cheerful and funny; she always makes me feel like every day is a special day. She's like the sun."
She's like the sun. Dylan's words, and the look on his face, hit me with a wallop. Dylan had offered a poetic essence of what I've always loved about Rhonda, from the day I first saw her and heard her talk in our high school cafeteria, thirty-six years ago.
She can show a tough-as-nails exterior, but inside lies a marshmallow heart. She has an irreverent, bawdy sense of humor, but a little girl's sense of wonder. She's one of the bravest, kindest, and most compassionate people I've ever known.
She's like the sun.
I'm one lucky dude.