My first born just graduated from preschool. We attended his graduation ceremony, which was complete with cap and gowns, celebratory necklaces, and diplomas. Never mind that Colin went back to the same preschool the very next day, or that he will continue to attend preschool for the next three months before Kindergarten actually starts. That's besides the point.
The point is that my first born graduated from preschool! This is the same kid that would greet me in the mornings with a fresh bowel movement in his diaper. This is the same kid that couldn't even hold the weight of his own head up. This is the same kid that I would hold with one arm like a football. This is the same kid who would call out for me in the middle of the night due to night terrors. And now he's graduating preschool?!?
Over the years, I have seen my son evolve from an infant, to a toddler, to an adolescent. I am proud of many things, but I am most proud of his emotional growth. He used to pout when he went to piano or tennis lessons, and now he goes happily. He used to throw colossal tantrums on a regular basis and now he throws them on a semi-regular basis. He used to stubbornly demand his way all the time. Now, when he doesn't get his way, he has the emotional maturity to self talk his way into believing he got his way.
I've noticed how his emotional growth has translated into being a more adventurous eater as well. He used to absolutely refuse to try new foods. Now, he knows that we expect him to just try things at least once. Often, he surprises himself when he learns that new foods aren't all that bad.
Recently, I made a crudité with a roasted garlic aioli dip. Thanks to our friend Kris, for introducing me to crudité! Typically, Colin doesn't like bell peppers. But I found some sweet mini peppers and I made him try them. I saw him process the taste of the peppers and determine they weren't bad after all. I didn't push him further because I knew we had accomplished what we needed to. I am sure that the next time he sees the mini bell peppers, he won't refuse them. These are the small victories that make me a proud papa. Happy Father's Day!