Today you complete a journey of 12 years, they seem long to you now, but one day you’ll look back and say wow that flew by! As I sit here, after just saying good bye, good luck and I love you to you as you head off to school for your oral board, I look back and wonder where has the time gone? You’ve grown up to be such a wonderful man, you’re smart, funny, beautiful and handsome and full of unlimited potential! I couldn’t be more proud of you. You already aced the project phase of your Senior STEP project, and are now on the final piece, the Oral board where you get to present your project to community leaders and educators. You are a very good speaker and I know you will pass these with the highest of flying colors. You did a great job with your STEP project of rebuilding the motor in your Honda, and thank you for letting me help a little when I could. I wish I was able to do more, but every second I got to spend with you on it was a joy and so special to me, I hope someday you have a child so that you can feel the powerful emotions that loving and being with someone so wonderful to you means. It changes your life completely, being a parent…. YOU changed my life in so many positive, wonderful ways and I thank you!!!!
In addition to excelling at Baseball from pee-wee through little league, football from 7th – 11th grade, learning all about mechanics and cars, you also have spent the last 2 years attending college, doing freelance landscaping, working the past two winters on top of a mountain ( scaring me nearly to death every day you went there!!) … you’re already so far ahead of “the game” all on your own bud! You excel at everything you do and your future is incredibly bright! You have a great job lined up for the summer, plans to finish your degree in the fall and then see where life leads you!! I truly respect you and how hard you have worked to get where you are today and I can’t wait to see where you go in the future! Some of the things that surprise me though, are that after about 9 years old I never really got to use your full name… EASTON JAMES CUNNINGHAM! Because you weren’t ever “bad”….. yeah you made some mistakes and we have had our disputes and differences, but we worked them out and never really raised our voices or had much to argue over… I may have had to”put my foot down” and be mean Dad a few times but not to the point of using your full name 😉 you are so smart, knowing when you can push the envelope and when to walk away. I’m so very proud of all that you have accomplished so far!!! You’ve haven’t gotten where you are easily, you’ve had many obstacles to face, from witnessing domestic violence, dealing with separations from siblings, divorce(s), moving homes, the death of your best friend and favorite pets… yet you’ve overcome all of these and more to become a loving young man that I am proud to call my son.
Congratulations on your success and I can’t wait until June 12th to watch you receive your diploma!!! Some recaps of my most favorite moments with you:
Not having cable or any real TV reception when you and I lived above Colleen’s Barn so we would listen to music and dance ( you were 1-2) you LOVED dancing to Dave Mathews band
I didn’t have much back then , we lived above a barn in a tiny apartment, with an adopted stray Doberman….(He adopted us and came and went as he liked) and you slept next to me in the bed, someday I hope you find out how wonderful it is to have your child as a baby so close to you….. you don’t get much sleep but it’s so special.
Having you ride on my horse “Lady Murphy” with me when you were little. Then having you ride the other horses that were much better behaved!
Rockin’ out with you to Pink Floyd, Rush, Metallica, James Taylor, Iron Maiden, Elton John and the Beatles!!
Taking you to Indiana a few times to meet your cousins and family and watching you play
Playing “the car” game…. Over and over and over and over.. it never got old for either of us!
Reading to you from day 1 until you were “too old for bedtime stories” ….(I think that was about 12)
Going with you to your first day of Kindergarten ( yes I cried!)
Coaching you in baseball and watching you play
Building model cars and ships together
Having you “help” me build the barn, tack room, hay storage, and run-in shed, dog house, and wood shed
Playing the “Halo”s and Call of Duty’s with you and watching the story along with the game!
Building more rockets than we can count!! And all the Launches ( and CATOs) to go with them!!
Road trip to see the reenactment of Custer’s last stand, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse monument and Yellowstone National Park
Traveling to the UK with you and seeing the wonder on your face and your curiosity about history
The 2007 Brickyard 400!! And all the other races at Monroe!
Shooting Archery with you
Painting the Fire Station with you
Watching the love, respect and friendship grow with Tyler and Christy
Teaching you how to drive over and over… even setting up the “course” at the fire station
Having you as a “sous chef” and assistant gardener!!
Having you with Christy and our family in Vegas in and for our wedding adventure (someday when you’re older we can go and have even more fun!)
Fishing with you Jim at Deception pass
Watching you pummel your opponents in football!
Golfing with you and Christy
Roger Waters – The Wall LIVE, Motley Crue and Kiss, Toby Keith, and every other concert!!
Working with you on your Honda
Shooting with you in the mountains
Every single Christmas and Birthday!!
And so many more memories….. so many wonderful fun times! We’ve also had some tough times but nothing that we couldn’t overcome with love. I know I haven’t been the best parent which makes me even more proud of you son, you’ve accomplished so much on your own!! I thank you for all the love and caring you have given to me, Christy and Tyler! We love you and are so very, very proud of you!
You refused to watch the video I made for your 18th birthday but in case you or anyone else on the “internets” want to see it, here it is again to make ME smile!! It’s long but it’s full of musical messages/memories from me to you as well as tons of photos!
I love you son, to the end of the universe and back!! Congratulations on YOUR success!! Thank you for being my son!!
For those reading this that aren’t Easton – Here’s a Picture of our Handsome young Man , dressed for success to deliver his Oral Presentation , his final requirement for graduating high school, today 5/22/14