I will be the first one to agree that parents can and will often go over the edge when gushing, bragging, or just mentioning their children. I often listen to them go on and on about how wonderful little Johnny is or the latest award their darling Susie just received for collecting the most pop bottle caps for some charity gig. Whatever. There is no one prouder than proud parents.
Positive I am not such a parent, I consider the pride I have in my daughter. I run through all of her accomplishments I can dredge up from the swampy goo that is my memory and I realize I am no better and if being honest counts, probably worse than those parents I often roll my eyes over. But I usually choose to put it here or in a letter. At least folks do not have to listen to me.
I won't go into the specifics of Lis' many accomplishments over the years. They are too many to mention. Many are just the normal victories, many if not most kids manage to find as they make it from child to adult. She may not be a future Nobel Laureate or future president, but she turned out better than I deserved considering the poor role model I offered up. Anything she is, she did herself. She is smart. She is kind. She has courage. Her work ethic is phenomenal. And did I mention the most important thing? She kicks serious ass on a mountain bike.
Of all my memories of her transition from child to adult, the one that sticks in my mind as my favorite is her progress on the bicycle. The one activity I can puff up my chest and say my influence was what prodded her to become the skilled rider she has become. From the first pink Schwinn single speed with tassles to the high end Jamis hardtail she favors now, Dad was the guy who put her there. There were tears. There were skinned knees and bruised egos. I even ran over her once on a ride in Pawtuckaway State Park. Rather than give up, she showed her mettle and always came back for more. Lis has serious sand. And that makes me proud.
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