There once was a day when I towered over this kid; not so much anymore. As many families celebrate the end of public schools, I too, am one of the proud Dad's.

We all have those times when we get frustrated raising our children but the times they make you proud usually more than makes up for it. Those of you with children know that you can have the worst day but when it's over and you look at your child laying in his/her bed, completely shot from their day of playing as hard as can be, everything goes away. To look at the true innocence sleeping peacefully, without a care in the world, melts a heart and put a band-aid over your heart.

The true innocence of a child; to a young man your proud to call your son. That's what it is for me today. A gamet of emotions as I recall holding him in my arms in the emergency room when he was 4 after almost cutting his lip off, dropping a 10 pound weight on his toe, splitting it open, and done crying by the time we patched him up and off playing again. Falling out of a U-haul truck door, me throwing him over my shoulder by accident; landing on the sidewalk, head first.  I taught him how to throw a football, swing a bat and even how to shoot a basketball.

If I have a tear in my eye right now, it's for all the above, and the hundred other things that he has done to make me smile, mad, bewildered, scared, frustrated and everything else that makes my son, my son!

Congratulations Mason William Barnes, and to the entire Class of 2014!  Well done, all of you. The world is your oyster, believe in something and you can achieve whatever you so desire. Set your sights high and do not let anyone, or anything, stand in your way.