I would first like to thank you for allowing all of us to join you on your graduation day. Though I joke often about the bets we took on the final length of your college stay (by the way, Devin, you owe me $20), I could not be more proud. You often accuse me of being a nag or a tattle tale (well, at least when I was younger) when it came to you and keeping you on track, but I hope you will eventually get that it was done out of love and concern and with the best intentions. I always believed you would be an incredible man, and somehow convinced myself that I would be the one to help you achieve that. Turns out, you did it all on your own.
And yes, I know I am not your mom, but sometimes it's just as hard for me to let things as it would be for a mom. And lucky you, you not only have a mom, but three additional ones to boot:
The evening that we celebrated, you said a number of things that have stuck with me, as I was amazingly struck by how insightful you have become. All the things I thought it was my job to impart to you, to make you understand, you seemed to have picked them up and internalized them without any assistance. Your perspective on the things that make you a man (aided in part by Joe), you hope for the future, and your plans for yourself and future wife - It was surreal to watch these things come out of your mouth, because in so many ways you are still the little kid that runs out of the house, letting the door slam and getting yelled at by mom because of it.
I know I am babbling, as I tend to do, but I mostly wanted to say that no matter what you do, you are a success. You made a comment that you felt like you disappointed people (dad) but you could not be farther from the reality. Three year ago, you looked around at your life and said, "Wow, I need to do something different because this is not working for me." And you did. You left, you played ball, you went to the World Series, you made a life with a great woman, and now you have graduated college. In no world would that be thought of as disappointing.
I am very proud at all you have done, overwhelmed with the changes you have made in your life, and grateful that I get to be your sister.
And thank you for catching, preparing and cooking my fish.
And Jenny is amazing. Did anyone ever tell you y'all bear a striking resemblance to Britney and K-Fed? Just wondering.
So you showed everyone not just that you can study hard, play ball and get a piece of paper - You spent the last three years demonstrating what it means to grow up, become a man, take responsibility and lay some foundation for the future. Your success is not determined by whether or not you play pro-ball or be a fireman or be a teacher. Success is having the courage to change your life, recognize and accept your consequences, and then celebrate the good stuff when it comes around. I am so proud beyond the words I write here.