Reflections (Morn of Eric’s Graduation Day)

Eric and his sister RachelThat’s Eric and his older sister on the right – Eric was 1 and Rachel was 3 years old at the time.  Picture warms my heart.  (Surreal. I stare at the picture.  Seems like yesterday. Where did the time go?)

More than 15 years after this picture is taken, I’m watching the two of them giggling watching a YouTube video.  (There is something about two siblings being so close. I’m MOVED to see it and feel it – Blood loving blood.)

Rachel later eggs me on to post some lighter moments of Eric’s early childhood.  Here we go:

ginger the hamsterEric LOVED his hamster.  And wouldn’t dream of parting with it.  We had to fly the hamster (“Ginger”) in a cage from Miami to New York. (I grumbled about the insanity of it all…and the expense of dragging a RAT across the country.  Mom insisted.  Eric cried.  I lost.  Again.  Ginger road side-saddle in Coach on American Airlines under his seat.  Eric peaking in occasionally to make sure she was ok.)

Elmer_FuddEric couldn’t pronounce his “gr’s” – he could get out the “g’s”, the “ga” but no “grrrrrr’s”– he struggled with “grape”…”ground”…”green.”  (We used to practice each night before he’d go to bed.  Grape.  Green.  Ground.  Grape.  Green.  Ground. Grape. Grape. Grape.  He hated it.  He stumbled.  He cried.  Do over. Grape. Green. Ground.  Yet, I wouldn’t have my son leaving the house pronouncing “grape” as “gape” like Elmer Fudd.  Today, there’s no sign of a speech impediment.  And I see no evidence of ‘gape’ under high stress situations in arguments with his Dad.)

mama's boyEric was a Mama’s boy. (See post: Who are you calling a Mama’s Boy?). Eric’s Mama drove him to school every single day of his school life through the 11th grade.  I drove him 2x in all those years. (I could sense the disquiet when I drove.  Mom drives him to school.  He didn’t like it.  Today, his Mama hands him the keys to her car – – except during a short probationary period after he backed the car into a rock wall. Mama’s response: Accidents happen.  Dad, on the other hand, is left explaining the reasons behind the night time teeth grinding to his dentist.)

Eric slept with his yellow Blankie and his Bunnie until he was eight.  He used to rub his Blankie between his fingers to calm himself.  (At about 6 years old, I began to worry about this Blankie and Bunnie thing. Thank goodness he grew out of this.  Today, his iPhone is tethered to his hand and his fingers tap away – – 11 years later, the iPhone filling the role of his Blankie and Bunnie.)

Eric is a gentle soul.  (Mama’s genes).  When his Mother washed a salamander salamanderdown the shower drain, he was distraught – and called his Mother a “lizard killer.”  Eric refuses to kill any living thing including a spider.  So, when Ginger died, Mama and Eric insisted that I bury the hamster. (Ginger lived an unusually long life…of course she did. It was a blustery, bone chilling January day. I grabbed a shovel from the garage.  I drove my foot down on top of the shovel – the shovel hit the frozen earth – and rattled my teeth and vibrated up and down my right foot and shin.  Couldn’t recall exactly the cuss words that came out – – and oh, they came out. I glanced over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching.  And when the coast was clear – I heaved the dead varmint over the fence into the neighbor’s yard.  That’s as formal as it got for me and Ginger.  Rest in Peace Ginger.)

Eric is kind and good hearted.  When we asked Eric what he would like for a graduation present, Eric suggested that we take a family vacation because he felt “it would be great to spend time with the entire family before he left for college.”  (When we asked Rachel the same question two years ago, Rachel snapped back without pause or hesitation: “a car and a nice watch would be nice.”  Pretty much sums him (and you) up, doesn’t it Rachel?  Nice ask though…go big and negotiate down – LIKE IT.  Smile)

More to come on Eric’s Graduation Day later…I hope that I’m able to stay composed…

Related Posts:

  1. Like Father, Like Son? Not!
  2. Guest Post: Eric to Mom
  3. Wednesday for Women: Who are you calling a Mama’s Boy?
  4. Tic, Tic, Tic…6 months to Empty Nest
  5. He’d grown up just like me. My boy was just like me…
  6. The Believer of Convenience.
  7. Week in Review: Down but not out…
  8. Ratio of Criticisms to Compliments is woefully imbalanced…


  1. cute!


  2. How will you stay composed when I’m crying just reading this!! Congratulations Eric!! What an incredibly special guy you and your wife raised. I have no doubt Rachel is too…Way to go!! Bring lots of Kleenex, but try not to blow your noise loudly..


  3. What wonderful memories–the love and joy you glean from your relationships with your kids shines through in every line. Savor every moment.


  4. Sweet memories…, TY for sharing yours with us.


  5. Thank you for taking us down memory lane. Poor Ginger was tossed over the fence! Lol. Congrats to Eric on graduating and to your family for sticking by his side. I almost welled up with tears for you as time draws near. This coming school year my first born will be a Senior and I’m already crying with all the college stuff coming in the mail! I’m not ready!! Lord willing for my oldest, I will have 4 more kids to attend graduations for as well.

    Blessings to you all!


  6. Turn the page on this chaper with more wonderful memories to come to fill the pages of the next chapter in their lives and yours. Congratulations to all. Can’t wait for the next post!


  7. Congratulations to Eric! A beautiful day for a graduation. Enjoy!


  8. Thank you for sharing about your son David. My children are my treasures as yours are. The years go by so fast, we are so blessed to have them…happy graduation day!


  9. I loved reading all of that. My youngest child just graduated from high school last Friday…I know a bit of what you’re feeling. Congratulations to Eric! 🙂


  10. LaDona's Music Studio says:

    LOVE the photo and reflections. Congrats – enjoy – and let us know how it all went. Details are GOOD!


  11. I loved this post. It was heartwarming, real, and funny. I could just see the Ginger burial, cartoon style. The chattering of the shovel rivaling the chattering of your teeth and then “wheeeesht” over the fence with poor Ginger. I love animals and have a soft spot for them, but I completely understand about flinging Ginger. She wasn’t feeling any pain anymore. And I think your daughter is wise to ask for the car instead of the vacation. It’s more long lasting and I’m sure you’ve had lots of family time before. The logic makes sense to me. Smart girl.


  12. Random thoughts…
    1. What would the world be if all families shared this amount of love? Bet you even have a soft spot for Ginger.
    2. Best wishes for a wonderful future for both Rachel and Eric.
    3. You might have an encore career as a writer.


  13. Thank you for sharing such wonderful memories.


  14. There is a lot of familiarity in that story, and I agree…like father, like son? Maybe some vague similarities but that’s about it.


  15. When a writer starts to share their personal life experiences with the Readers that means the Readers have become a part of their life. Its awe-inspiring ! Thank you, David for the honor =) Now why don’t you come up with something for your complete family along with a photo. We would love it =)


  16. Awesome post David! Thanks for sharing. That will be me in 13 years with my son 🙂


  17. So cute 🙂



  1. […] Lead.Learn.Live has much wow factor.  I was inspired to write blogs based on what I read in that blog.  Every morning the first amongst the posts I read is those of David Kanigan.  If I am sleepy on a Monday, the sort of creature images that come at you out of the blog will get you wide awake.  There is wit, and humour in this blog.  I have been in laughter many times, more recently a graduation day post of one of his children. […]


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