As my wife and I count down to our son's one-year sobriety anniversary (just a week to go!), it's great to hear other people say things that confirm the progress we have witnessed in our son.
Today a friend of ours--who helped our son very early on and still sees him from time to time--came over to borrow a card table because he was helping a friend put on an estate sale across the street. He told us to come over and take a walk through the house for a preview of the sale.
When my wife and I went across the street we started talking to our friend about our son and how far he's come. Our friend had nothing but praise for our son. Our friend's wife was also at the house and she, too, had nothing but wonderful things to say about our boy. She told us how much better he looks, how much more talkative he is, and how much he smiles now.
That last comment? The part about the smiling? That's the thing I took to be the ultimate compliment and it's something my wife and I have noticed, too. Our son seems so much happier these days. It sounds like such a little thing; but he actually smiles.
To an "ordinary" parent, a smiling child is probably something that's often taken for granted. But when you've been through what my wife and I have been through, seeing your child smile--and hearing other people talk about it--is something extraordinarily beautiful.
I am so happy and proud. And I've been smiling all night.