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Editor's column - Proud parents

February 08, 2012 - During the big game Sunday night, the cameras cut to a picture of one of the player's fathers in the stands. The announcer said he had never watched his son play football.

It was not for a lack of interest, but because his dad is blind, having lost his eyesight just a few days after his son was born 23 years ago. The 60-year-old father, who is from Haiti and now lives in Florida, listens to his son's games on the radio.

The second-year All-Pro defensive lineman's team won the game, undoubtedly making his father very proud, even if he does not completely understand the game.

As a parent myself, the scene struck me. I just can't imagine what it would be like to live in a world where you could not see your children grow and succeed.

Quite frankly, I think many of us take this joy for granted.

Earlier during the weekend, my youngest daughter had an indoor soccer game late one night and then a basketball game the next morning. Volleyball starts this week, too.

I thoroughly enjoy watching her play. As I've always told people, she has my wife's athleticism and my tenacity. I also enjoyed watching my older daughter play club soccer not long ago before a significant injury cut her playing days short.

I will admit there have been plenty of times over the years when I have screamed - or wanted to - when they made a mistake in a game or their teams struggled. I know I am not alone, either.

But stories like the football player's blind dad provide us with a reality check. I know he would give anything to see his grown son today, whether he was a professional athlete or not.

I guess we all need to step back sometimes and simply enjoy watching our kids work hard and do their best, whether it is on a sports field, stage, auditorium, classroom or gym.

Congratulations to those children who reach the very top. They typically work very hard and deserve it. But that takes nothing away from our other young athletes, performers and students who also are dedicated and give it their best shot.

Besides, I've always said failure and adversity go a long way to building character and perseverance. In today's world, these are just as important for our young people as achieving success.

With my oldest daughter graduating from Lake Orion this year, I am just now realizing how fast time flies. The idea of her being in college and my youngest in high school soon is unsettling and, at the same time, exciting.

I've been blessed to be able to see them succeed, fail and grow over these years. There are plenty of cherished memories and hopefully many more to come.

Like any parent, I am so proud of both of them. I know there are plenty of other proud parents out there, too.

It's time we let our kids know just how special they are, as we watch them tackle the biggest games in life.

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