I'm always a little touched by senior night. They had one at Chiawana High School tonight before the boys basketball game.
Just about every high school does a version of it for every sport — and if they don't, they should. It's when the parents of the senior players line up before the game and get introduced with their son or daughter. Usually the schools will furnish some roses or some other nice little gift for the kids to give to their parents.
It almost always goes down the same way, too. The kids shuffles out with rose in hand to smiling parents and gives it to them. Dad can get a good laugh by grabbing for the rose before it gets handed to mom. Big hugs.
But no matter how many times you see it, it never gets old. Always room for a little more love in the world.
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I know my dad reads this from time to time, so I want to thank Steve Millikin and Margo McGowan — my own parents — for their unconditional support of me and my sibings, Matt and Erin. As kids, you can't really see the kind of tireless dedication it takes to be a parent, but you grow into that appreciation.
And it's humbling when it hits. They did it all for you.
One funny side note: When I was in little league, my dad promised me one year that he would pay me for every hit I got. I think it was something like 75 cents a base, so if I hit a home run it would be worth $3.00. I didn't hit many home runs that year — just one — but my slugging percentage was pretty good, so I picked up some nice extra scratch.
Of course, my sister was a little ticked at that development. She was the best athlete in the family by far, but she didn't play little league. Unfortunately, soccer didn't translate as well to a play-for-pay incentive, so Erin never got paid even though at one point she held the national high school record for shutouts by a goalkeeper.
I would encourage Erin to think of that national recognition as its own reward.
Me, I'll take the money.