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Wednesday, October 26, 2011
For the Parents
This past weekend was Parents' Weekend at Dana Hall School, and this coming weekend will be Parents' Weekend at Tufts University. This Friday night, I will attend the 2nd Grade Parents' Dinner at my daughter's school, and last but not least . . . I need to call my mother.
Yes it's parent time in this part of the world: a time where parents want to see if all of this money they're spending (or receiving) is worth it. I have to say that I enjoy preparing for these weekends. The parents deserve it and nothing makes kids happier than seeing their parents be proud of them.
My daughter continually seeks my approval, which is very sweet because it means she needs me. The trick is, I need her approval too. I won't know what to do with myself if we lose that relationship.
I certainly have always looked for approval from my parents. So here is a quick list of the moments in my life when I THINK I made my parents proud.
Stop laughing. Seriously, my father was not able to see my older brother be born in the delivery room. 2 years later, he got the chance with me, and he told me that experience changed him and made him pursue his faith in a more meaningful way.
I skipped Kindergarten, because I was reading at an advanced level (3rd Grade). The truth is I was not taught to read. I was reading billboards in the car at age 3. Yes, I AM KYLE XY!!! No seriously, I have a hard time believing the stories myself.
In 6th Grade, (pictured above) I became Homecoming King of my school, grades K-8 because I raised the most money for the school (see - politics and money! Occupy Grade School!!!). My mother baked oatmeal cookies for me every day, and I sold them after school. I think I raised $800. That's a LOT of cookies in 1981.
I was admitted to the Boston University Tanglewood Institute in 1986 before my junior year of high school. My parents drove up from Memphis for the final piano recital, and I played Ginastera's Danzas Argentina (Wilkie!). The look on my parents' face was like saying "The lessons were worth it." I can't thank you enough Mom and Dad for how true that is.
Meeting my wife and letting my parents know I had a partner for life - 'nough said.
BOSTON UNIVERSITY INNER STRENGTH GOSPEL CHOIR
The choir I directed the longest - 10 years. My father ritually flew up to Boston to be able to sit in the audience and relive that Tanglewood memory over and over again. He spent the money on the airfare and took the time so he could bask in the pride while I was just doing my job.
When I got my Master's Degree, my mother was the only one who attended my graduation - my wife was so sick that day. :( It was anti-climatic for me to walk in the ceremony, and I told my mother it was no big deal, but she wanted to go. Spending that time with her made me get into the experience. It was nice to have her there smiling for me.
The greatest thing God has ever done through me.
Yeah, there's more I suppose, but you get the idea. I know you all have your lists of moments you received your parents' approval. Believe me that no matter what you think - your parents want your approval too. Simple late night wisdom from
Here is a video of a Glee-style mash-up I arranged for Dana Hall's Parents' Weekend in 2009. Enjoy!