I will admit in advance that this is an odd way to begin a posting, but here goes.... I was sicker than I can remember being on Thursday night. This will make sense as I continue this post.
A little less than 4 years ago, we took our only child to Virginia Tech as a freshman. After unloading what seemed like his entire life, we left him at Miles Hall looking a bit bewildered. Truth be told, I was a bit bewildered myself. What was I going to do without my "person"? Artie and I share a special relationship that is apparent the minute anyone sees us together. The day after we dropped him off at school, I felt nauseated. I was relieved to find out that other parents experienced this discomfort as well. Misery does love company after all.
Today, I am the proud parent of a Virginia Tech graduate but the night before the graduation was another story... many hours spent intimately attached to the bathroom... odd bookends indeed.
There is not a person that has ever spoken to me for more than 5 minutes that isn't made aware how very much I love my son Artie. Many have questioned if the name had something to do with my profession, but in fact, Artie is my father's namesake. In Ashkenazi Jewish tradition, children are not named for a living relative or friend. Sadly, my father (one of the best people I have ever known) died 7 years before Artie was born. There was no question which name would be chosen for a son of mine should I be fortunate to have one. Interestingly, Artie looks and behaves very much as my father did. Life is good!
This past weekend Artie graduated from Virginia Tech. We were so very proud of him. In an effort to not completely embarrass him, I am not going to wax poetic about what my life has been since he made his appearance. What I am going to do is tell everyone who reads this blog that I am due to make a portrait of Artie to commemorate this occasion. I have made paintings of Artie to mark important life events, and this graduation is certainly one of them. So, in front of everyone, I vow to continue the tradition. Until then, I have included a couple of paintings that I have made of Artie in the past, as well as a few photographs from the weekend. Bear with me, I am a proud parent after all!
I have one more interesting bookend to share. My father attended Ohio State before World War II. He never graduated in favor of serving in the military. Artie will be attending The Ohio State University in September to work toward his graduate degree. If someone had told me that my son would be attending the same school as my father, I would have been mighty skeptical. Life does provide us with many unexpected twists and turns and this one makes me smile.