There comes a time when you're going to look at your child and realize that they amaze you. I don't mean "aww, it's amazing that I can keep them alive" amaze you. I mean one day you will realize they far exceed your wildest dreams. For Jacob Rudolph's dad, that day came when his son stood up in front of his high school and came out as a gay teenager.
Jonathan Rudolph uploaded the video of his son that's now gone viral to the Internet. In it, 17-year-old Jacob stands at a high school assembly to accept an award and proudly announces that he is "an LGBT teen." Here, he says it better:
As his dad said of Jacob's inspiring coming out speech, that "took more guts to do than anything I've ever attempted in my life."
I join the world in commending Jacob Rudolph for his strength today. But let's not forget that this kid was raised by parents who clearly showed their child that it's OK to be you, that it's important to stand up for what you believe in. These are the moments we really live for as parents: when we realize that what we've taught them has sunk in.
Sometimes these flashes mean realizing our kids may have surpassed us emotionally. A friend who has struggled with her weight issues recently related a story of her daughter's complaint that the school weighed them during gym class. She asked -- dreading the answer she expected -- why the girl was so upset. But the girl, the well-adjusted, happy girl, informed her not that she felt uncomfortable with her weight being broadcast to other kids, but that she just missed the time to engage in actual games in gym class!
It was a victory she was happy to take. She's done her job with her daughter ... just as Jacob Rudolph's parents have with him. Perhaps they were afraid of what it would be like or their son if he came out in such a public way; it's a response any of us could understand. But he did it, and he triumphed.
His parents raised a kid who has guts. Bravo to them and to their amazing son too.
Have your kids ever bowled you over like Jacob did?
Image via Jonathan Rudolph/YouTube