This is an Amazing Guitar, But That Night I Got Something So Much More…
Friday before last, my company threw a big party for me to celebrate my being “The #1 Best Selling Book Author in Computers or Photography for 10 Consecutive Years.”
My awesome wife Kalebra organized the event (she is the queen of incredible events), and since my wonderful Publisher Peachpit Press had already presented me with a beautiful award during Photoshop World, she wanted to do something really unique to commemorate this milestone. So she called my whole family up on stage and presented me with the amazing Paul Reed Smith Custom guitar (you see above), with a personalized plaque right below the bridge (a close up of the plaque is seen below).
I have a few PRS (Paul Reed Smith) guitars but they are all “SE” models, which are their much lower-priced kind of “entry-level” models, and I dearly love mine (they don’t play like entry level models). But when my wife handed this one to me, I didn’t (at first) realize it wasn’t an SE model ”this was the ‘real deal” my first real PRS! Well, as blown away as I was, I was not at all prepared for what was coming next…
What came next…
So I’m standing there holding the guitar, and everybody’s clapping, and my daughter and son are there and I keep saying to my wife, “This is a real PRS!!!” and the whole thing is kind of surreal. Then my wife says, “Your son wants to say something,” and she hands him the mic.
Now, my son is a really good public speaker, and he started by cracking a couples of little jokes that got everybody laughing. But then he started into his speech”one that absolutely had me and everybody speechless.
I wish I had it on tape, but I’ll paraphrase as best I can. Here’s what he said:
“Dad, I was 7-years-old when you won this award for the first time and now it’s been 10 years in a row. This has been a tremendous amount of work for you, but when I was in elementary school, and we had presentations at school, you were always there. When I played basketball or soccer in middle school, you were always at my games. When we had parent/teacher conferences at school you were always there…”
…and he went on and on through all the times he needed me there, from dealing with a broken heart to cheering at his Crew races, and he listed them one after another in a list that seemed to go on forever, and he ended every single one with “and you were always there…” By this time I’m in tears and everybody at the party is in tears, and he’s just describing this all so eloquently, and he’s on stage in front of this large crowd, and he keeps listing all these things and then he pauses for a moment and saysâ¦
“And you know what all this taught me, dad?”
And the whole place goes silent. And he says…
“It taught me how to be a man.”
That was it — tears just came pouring out, and I hugged him, and everybody cheered, and it was literally one of the most amazing moments of my entire life. There isn’t a dad out there that could have asked for his son to say anything more. I was so incredibly touched, and he did such a wonderful job presenting the whole thing (which of course, made me even prouder). Needless to say it’s a moment I’ll never forget, and as much as I love awesome guitars, this meant so, so, so much more.
As I write this post (which is very late for a Friday post I might add), I’m with my wife and son — for the past two days we’ve been visiting college campuses around the country (six flights in two days) and just having a ball. We’re about to head out for another campus tour, and I’m so excited for the adventures, learning, and fun my son will embark on next year. We’re a very close family, and he and I have always been very close, and it’s going to be really hard on me when he goes off to school in a different state, but no matter how old he and I get, I’ll never forget his words, or what it means to be his dad.
Here’s to all the dads out there, who know exactly what I mean, and how I feel. :)
Have a great weekend everybody!