Having children can be a rewarding experience, particularly as you watch them grow and evolve into their own people.
Today's burning question came from Redditor wtdoido, who asked the online community: "Parents, what was the moment when you felt the most proud of your child?"
"I went out and found him playing in the snow..."
There was a snowy day. I was working still in my office. I went into the living room where my son was supposed to be playing videogames and couldn't find him. I searched the house, no where.
I went out and found him playing in the snow (he was 5 or 6).
I said, "Oh buddy, please don't go outside without telling me, and please buddy, wait for me to finish my work and I'll come out and shovel and then you can play."
Then I looked closer, and noticed, he had his little shovel in his hands and was shoveling off part of the sidewalk and he said, "But daddy, if I shovel now there will be less for you to do when you are finished work."
"I went to meet my daughter..."
I went to meet my daughter after a concert and heard a group of kids hanging around outside talking about her.
Kid 1: I know the drummer in the band. Kid 2: Really? You know her? Kid 1: Yeah, we're friends. We were in the same English class, once. Kid 2: you liar!
At this point, my daughter is done getting packed up backstage so I go help her grab her gear. I tell her what I heard so we walk around the front of the building on our way out. She walks up to the girl (whose name she didn't remember anymore) and waves and gives her big "Hey! How's it going?!" The girl breaks into this huge smile, and as we leave, I can see all her friends huddled around her impressed by what just went down.
"I always feel proud of my children but..."
When my youngest daughter gave me all the money in her piggy bank to buy insulin for her friend because her parents couldn't afford it. I always feel proud of my children but for some reason that moment always stood out for me.
"I am a stepdad of two kids..."
I am a stepdad of two kids. It has not been easy, as their dad did not handle the breakup well and did everything in his power to get the kids not to like me (or their mother, for that matter). Over the last decade, it seems to have backfired and the kids see through his irrational, alienating tendencies.
The proudest moment I had was when I found out the daughter wanted to be a writer like me. It really means a lot, even if she doesn't end up writing. I will support her no matter what she wants to do.
Those kids are not my blood, but blood is blood and love is love. I feel I don't really need children of my own. So, cheers to all the step-parents out there!
"My son stood up to a bully..."
My son stood up to a bully recently even though he knew the outcome.
He got the sh*t kicked out of him, but after his defiance landed the bully in juvie, all the kids at his school started standing up for themselves more.
Love that kid.
"That night, when I was looking through her old baby pictures..."Giphy
I just took my 4 year old daughter to her Preschool Open House on Wednesday. It was really fun and I look forward to her starting school, but a small part of me was really sad that she's getting older. As I talked to her teacher and she took me through a regular day, I kept eyeballing my daughter playing with the other kids. It made me feel proud that she wasn't searching around the room looking for me. She was acting like a big kid.
When we made it back to the car, she gave me a big hug and said "thank you, Mommy." She has no idea that school is a mandatory part of life...so she just concluded that I had made the decision for her, and she was sincerely grateful. It made me happy to have such a thoughtful, little girl.
That night, when I was looking through her old baby pictures and watching old videos, (and looking shamelessly sad) she came up to me and said "don't worry... I'll always come home to you. You're a great Mommy."
I had to take a fake "potty break" to let some tears go... ah, that kid.
"Our daughter had wild and troubled teenage years..."
Our daughter had wild and troubled teenage years that led to some life-threatening situations and her dropping out of school. But over a few years, she found steady work, went back and finished school, got accepted to the highest-rated graphic-design program in the country, graduated with excellent grades, and is now working in the field. And, as a reference, something like 5% of people who get degrees in the arts ever work in their chosen discipline, and that includes teaching.
Actually, I'm proud of all my kids, they're strong individuals, all different and all independent and focused.
"Huh, I can read?"
I haven't been a parent very long (only 5 years) but the proudest I've felt is when she started reading. My kindergartener went into the school year only able to read her name and a couple sight words (a, and, the), which is normal. Around the holidays, she picked up a flyer sitting on our kitchen table and started reading it out loud. My wife and I shot each other a glance like "Are you seeing this?" Pretty soon she read the whole thing (it was some Christmas party for kids, so nothing difficult). Then she did the cutest thing. She looked off in the distance and goes "Huh. I can read?" Then put the flyer down and galloped out of the kitchen. My wife and I laughed and hugged and had a mini celebration.
We just ran into her teacher last week at the store and she said "Your daughter is reading at a level E now, which is about a year ahead of schedule." We're so f*ckin' proud of that little monkey.
"He's got a huge heart..."
My son is 8 years old. He's got a huge heart and he's so thoughtful. One day my wife had some nursing friends over to study for an exam and he set all kinds of snacks out for them. Then he went outside with an umbrella when he heard one of the girls was close to the house and just waited. When she arrived, he met her at her car and escorted her in. We never asked him to do that. Later around lunchtime I was upstairs watching tv and he brought his lunch up with two forks and wanted to share with me. It was his favorite kind of food too that he doesn't get to eat very often. I told him several times throughout the day how proud of him I am and what a good man he will become. I'm tearing up just typing this lol.
"When my son turned two..."
When my son turned two, someone got him some plastic tools to play with. One day soon after, he found a loose screw on one of our kitchen chairs. I watched him go get his plastic screw driver and try to fix it. The over sized screwdriver didn't fit the screw of course. After about a minute, he dropped the toy and pulled a box over to the kitchen cabinet to stand on, opened the drawer and pulled out a real screwdriver. He then proceeded to use the screwdriver to take the loose screw out of the chair, brought it to me and said "Daddy fix it?"
"We talked for weeks..."
Almost four years ago now I got hooked up with a girl on a blind date/group night out kind of thing which went pretty well. I soon found out that she was a new mom and had a 3mo old son. All of my friends gave me a really hard time about it, said I was stupid etc, but I decided to see this girl again knowing full well that this little boy was part of the package.
We talked for weeks and I finally decided to invite her and her son over to my place for a night. The next morning I decided to let her sleep in and see if I could take care of the poor little guy, I even googled how to change diapers, I kid you not. First diaper change went ok, and he even pee'd on me to show his appreciation.
Now it's more than 3 years later and he will soon be 4. He calls me dad and I consider him my son. One day we were getting groceries and he was riding in the cart saying 'Hello!' to everyone, I was so embarrassed because I am usually very shy but I was so proud that he was friendly to everyone. Sometimes when we go to restaurants complete strangers will come up to us and compliment us on what a good kid he is.
"And I held back some tears..."Giphy
My brother got married for the second time last year -- and his new wife asked my 13 year old daughter to be one of her bridesmaids. So I went with her, my brother, and his fiancée to the mall to find her a dress.
When she stepped out of the dressing room, I couldn't believe it. This kid. This child who I'd diapered, dressed, sang to, read to, comforted, played games with, laughed with... she was a grown woman. I saw in her the woman she would become, and she was beautiful. And I held back some tears as I told her that she looked great.
Fifteen minutes after we leave the store inside the mall, I'm relating this story to my brother and soon-to-be sis-in-law, and talking about how grown up she is, how it's all come and gone, she'll never be a kid again, and all that. My brother points behind us, about 100 yards down the mall concourse.
My "grown up" daughter is trying desperately to shove her 5'11" body into one of the quarter-operated carousel cars made for toddlers.
You can only be young once, kiddo, but you can be immature forever.
"My daughter didn't want to go to bed..."
My son is 5 and my daughter is 3. They sleep in separate bedrooms next to each other. They used to share a room until recently, and have been adjusting. My daughter didn't want to go to bed and was whining a bit in her room. I was on my way to check on her and I saw my son sitting on the edge of her bed. He was holding her hand. He leaned down and hugged her and kissed her. He said "I know you have to sleep alone now and you're scared but I'm just right there. It will be morning soon" and he walked out. I was amazed at his compassion for her. Super proud.
"He's usually reserved..."
I took my 15 year old son to India. He's usually reserved, and doesn't adapt well to change so I was concerned about the culture shock. He stepped so far out of his own self and truly engaged himself in everything we were fortunate to experience there. It was truly watching a boy become a man, And realize he's probably going to turn out to be a pretty cool man.
"After a few nights of zero sleep..."
I've got so many proud moments that I can't really pick one.
Recently, I've been absolutely amazed at my oldest son (6) at the simple fact that he can read and write and use his math skills. Its nothing special or unique I'm just proud that he's growing into his own and can express his ideas in more ways than just verbally.
Another moment that sticks out is not so much of a proud one as a heart warming one for myself is that I go to school full time and work; in general I'm hellish busy. After a few nights of zero sleep, I let my kids know on the way home that I was probably going to be a bit cranky and that it wasn't them at all, I just needed a good night of sleep. Well, when we got home the kids went into my younger son's room and I sat on the sofa to do more homework.
They were being awfully quiet and I was grateful. After a bit longer, My 5 year old came out asking for the vacuum. Now I'm curious, so I go to see what they were doing. They had cleaned their rooms. And I mean CLEANED. Shelves were dusted, toys organized- everything! They had also tidied up my room and made my bed! The next morning was Saturday and I slept in, when I woke up, I went to make coffee and realized that they even did the dishes for me :)
Considering at the ages 5 and 6, kids are so incredibly self absorbed- hell even as an adult I am, but this was so wonderfully sweet.
"The other day..."
The other day as I'm waiting outside the classroom to drop my daughter off at preschool we were looking at all the artwork from her class. Each kid has a picture on their assignment that matches the first letter of their first name. Tommy might have a turtle as his picture, for example. Over the course of the year, they dropped their names from their assignments and only left the picture in an effort to get the kids to associate pictures and letters.
In front of all the parents standing there, with only the pictures to go on, my daughter named every one of the kids' artworks by their name from memory of what their picture is. All the parents' mouths were agape.
"This is when a child becomes an adult..."
The moment when I was most proud of my children is when each of them chose to take responsibility for their actions and their lives.
This is when a child becomes an adult and many people never seem to cross this barrier. My children have done lots of other things that made me proud, but them choosing to be adults is definitely when I felt most proud of them.
"The older guy confronted my son..."
My son was 14 and playing (field) hockey for a men's team. It was getting heated and my son had run rings around one of the older guys.
The older guy confronted my son and said "You're a right little wanker aren't you?"
My son's response?
"Have you been watching?"
"She was at the church..."
I'm not sure this counts, but I have an objectively cute baby who smiles a lot. She brings a lot of joy to strangers. Once I was in my church building and this elderly lady who didn't speak English well saw Baby Girl and came over to say hi. Baby Girl smiled like she does and this lady just broke down. She was at the church getting financial support and counseling for some hard stuff she had been going through (I gathered) and she kept calling my baby her angel. She was crying and smiling and took a picture of herself holding the baby and had me take a picture with my phone of her holding the baby and so on for like twenty minutes. I get that Baby Girl was just doing like she always do, but I was so proud that she had brought happiness into the life of someone going through a hard time.
It occurs to me that this is probably how owners of therapy dogs feel.
"He farted himself awake..."
He farted himself awake at the age of 2.
I knew then that he was truly my son.
It's easy to get caught up in the past.
...so long as we knew what time of day it was going to be on.
What's something nostalgic for your age group?
Video games today are horrible!
Give us a 2-dimensional side-scroller of an Italian plumber fighting a dragon monster and nothing else good for many more years after that. Who needs all these fantastic releases, year in and year out, every year?
How Do We Enable "Big Head Mode?"
"Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a, select, start"
"My toddler son has a toy game controller that plays a little jingle if you put this code in. I loved that they put that little Easter egg into a kids toy and it makes my husband smile every time he does it."
When Was This Old? *cries in tired old man
"Anytime recently I've tried to get back into Minecraft it breaks my heart because the game just feels so different now. I played it from 2010 up until 2018 or 19 almost religiously, but the past couple years have really changed the game. I'm sure it's just as fun to play now, but it doesn't have that same nostalgia factor anymore like it used to."
Tests Of Parenthood
"Neopets in 2005"
"My girlfriend at the time made me take care of one as a test for being a father. Literally."
Some things you long for aren't actually possible to do anymore, leading to the reasoning this is why the nostalgia is at an all-time high. What's worse than missing something that no longer exists?
The Smell, The Sounds, The Sights, The Ambience
"Going to Blockbuster with my friends on a Friday"
"Renting cheesy horror movies and making fun of them with the group!"
You Can Miss That?
"Dial up modem noises"
"Kiiiiiiiiiiii…kiiuuuu…kiiiuuuu.. it was something like that right? I even forgot."
"And then I used to open yahoo login page and do some other work for few minutes and come back while it loads, and then enter id password, hit login and then get a coffee until it loads."
Illegal, But, Yeah
"I remember the really early days of mp3 sharing, before P2P came along. There were hundreds of FTP servers that you could connect to with huge libraries of mp3s. No domain name, just a raw IP address that you found somewhere on usenet."
"But they couldn't just give it away, because then everyone would take and nobody would give. So they had quota systems: you'd upload an mp3, and for every byte you uploaded, you'd get to download 2, or 3, or maybe even 5. And this was over dialup, so uploading or downloading a single file could take 30 minutes."
"But it was FTP. Very simple and dumb. There was no memory of your "credits" between sessions, so if you uploaded a bunch of stuff and then lost your connection, you were SOL."
"It amazes me to think how much time I spent getting a few songs that today I can play any time I want on Spotify."
For some people, this next section will sound silly.
For others, this was our childhood, which sadly (when you really think about it) revolved around a television schedule we had no input on, meaning we had to plan everything out around when the next episode of Power Rangers aired.
Cartoons After School Are The Best
"Anime on Toonami. Cartoon Cartoon Fridays"
"Toonami had really great western cartoons as well. I loved watching Samurai Jack, Ben 10, Teen Titans, and Clone Wars on Toonami growing up."
"Old Cartoon Network, spiky gelled hair"
"Old Cartoon Network" is an interesting answer because people are gonna have different ideas about what "Old Cartoon Network" is. I think of Ed, Edd n Eddy and Codename: Kids Next Door. Another commenter mentioned Gumball which is still well after my time."
When Life Revolved Around Someone Else's Schedule
"Born in the 70s, grew up in the 80s...I remember huddling around the TV as a family to watch certain things."
"For some reason, they would show The Wizard of Oz every year on network tv..and it was a big deal. My mom would make popcorn...in a pot on the stove (It was the 80's) and we'd sit on a blanket on the floor and watch."
Or Friday Nights....Dukes of Hazzard (when it was new). Mom would get takeout from Burger Chef...and we'd sit on the floor eating hamburgers watching 'dem Duke Boys at it again."
"Or in the summer....they'd show Creature from the Black Lagoon 3D on tv. 7-11 would give out free 3-D glasses."
"For the younger Redditors....this was well before any kind of streaming/on demand service...and back when cable TV and VCRs were still a luxury that a lot of people didn't have. So, you really only got to watch what was on the few channels that your antenna allowed."
"Another one is coming home from school to watch old shows like Gilligan's Island, The Munsters, The Addams Family, Batman, F-Troop."
"Or staying up late and at midnight....the TV would play the National Anthem....then show a control screen and just "BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP" like this: https://youtu.be/Cnchea6LHN0"
The good ol' days.
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When determining how to spend our life in a way that feels worthy, many place a heavy emphasis on experiences. We want to die with scars and stories.
And sticking our necks out inevitably leads to a whole lot of struggle. But that doesn't mean we wouldn't do the same thing the very next day if we could go back.
Some things, though we'll never do them again, were too important an experience to pass up.
Redditor JackIrishJack asked:
"What should you do once, but not twice?"
Many people talked about the life experiences, big and small, that influenced their outlook. They recommend people go through some discomfort to gain important awareness.
A Capacity for Empathy
"Working in the food industry I feel like everybody should do it once so they can have a respect for food workers but it's also a hell I never want to go through again"
Paying for a Daydream
"Buy a lottery ticket"
"You're not going to win, but buying a lottery ticket gives you the chance to dream and pretend. Having a second lottery ticket isn't going to make your dreams more vivid."
Plenty of Implications
"Visit Auschwitz. I firmly believe everyone should go visit it so as to not forget what humans are capable of doing to each other. But no need to visit twice. Once was enough for me."
Others brought up things which, if done twice, would be a sure sign that something is very very wrong.
Supposed To Be Permanent
"Learning how to walk. The first time - good on you. Having to
relearn a second time means something went terribly wrong."
Only Two Sets
"Lose all of your teeth" -- Outrageous_Cream_112
"Haha I had to think about this for a second" -- ApplesauceDoctr
Don't Wanna Find Yourself There Too Often
"Get beaten half to death breaks the concepts of your limits. Second time breaks the spirit. Third time is overkill."
Others apparently viewed the question as an opportunity for a little cleverness.
If You're Good
"Cut...you measure twice before." -- wxguy215
"For me its more like 'measure twice, make sure it's just a teeny bit too long then go back and shave it off little by little until it wedges in perfectly' " -- pistpuncher3000
As the Saying Goes
"Fool me" -- Thia_suzieUzi
"FOOL ME THREE TIMES FU** THE PEACE SIGN LOAD THE CHOPPA LET IT RAIN ON YOU" -- nixusthegod
Only a Couple to Work With
"Donate a kidney" -- RealisticDelusions77
"Donate one kidney, you're a hero. Donate two kidneys, you're a corpse. Donate three kidneys, you're a felon." -- Drach88
"Be born. Going through the birthing process again would probably kill my mother." -- cylonrobot
Here's hoping we can all find the healthy balance between living a full, experienced life and punishing ourselves a little too much.
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Whenever I visit clothing stores, I make it a point to fold the clothes I unfurl. That is apparently my downfall as a customer.
Because of this, fellow customers often peg me as an employee and always ask me questions like where the bathroom is, or if the store has certain sizes left in stock.
Umm, no, I don't work here. I'm just a responsible customer. As you were.
Many of us make assumptions about other people just by looking at them. Who knew we were so presumptuous?
Curious to hear the experiences of strangers online, Redditor lilmizzvalz asked:
"What do people assume about you, based on your appearance?"
People often misinterpret moods based on how someone looks. That's unfair, wouldn't you say?
"That I'm caring and supportive. I have a resting nice face."
"That I am always mad. Nope just dissociating and staring off into space."
Not Meaning To Be Mean
"That I'm mean. I have a resting mean face for a dude I guess. Also lately it's worse because I'm bigger now. I don't really notice how my face appears but apparently, I seem angry when I'm looking at stuff."
"'You should smile' and 'are you ok?' comments followed me from busboy, waiter, bartender my whole career."
When it comes to measuring intelligence of others, some people are just way off.
Hard To Live Up To Expectations
"That I'm clever. People keep saying it to me, but I'm dumb and that sh*t is hard to live up to."
"I have glasses."
Eyes Full Of Wisdom
"I apparently have something similar going on mixed with looking like I know sh*t, because people come up to me in public and ask about directions, bus schedules and stuff all the time. Like, they'll deliberately avoid other people to ask me. Including when I'm abroad and should look a bit out of place."
"They assume I have an intellectual disability. (And also that I'm deaf, since I'm not able to speak.)"
"No, I am a person with two university degrees who happen to need a wheelchair because of a nasty neurological illness."
People don't always look their age. Some don't even act their age. But these Redditors have gotten their fair share of wrong guesses for their ages.
"That I'm 15."
"I'm 38 and a doctor. 'Did you just finish school?' EVERY DAY."
"This thread was depressing to read as I am 38 but often get mistaken for 50. I hate y'all and your youthful beauty."
Some people are typed out as certain types of people with just one look.
Watch Your Tone
"That I have a southern accent. Not one stranger has ever suspected that I have a 'New Jersey' accent (Born and raised in New Jersey before moving south)"
Not A Biker
"That I ride a Harley and/or work on them. I'm bald with a long goatee and tons of tattoos, but I'm in IT for a living and don't ride motorcycles at all."
Like others have expressed in the thread, I've also been accused of having "resting b*tch face."
You know, that neutral expression where you're not smiling the one time you're not in a situation where you have to be "on" for other people?
Yeah, that one.
If someone's resting face comes across as unfriendly, well, perhaps it's best not to upset them by asking them what's wrong all the time. Just sayin'.
Ideally, a teacher should take the job because of a genuine interest in helping students, furthering their education as well as their self-development. Of course, it's not as simple as that (administrative issues aside). Unfortunately, there are some teachers out there who aren't cut out for the job––and they even have a mean streak when it comes to their students. The effects this can have on the learning process are dire.
Teachers don't get paid well, and they're well aware. Many stick with the job because they have a passion for teaching; many others stick with the job because of the position of inscrutable authority it offers them over helpless students.
People shared their experiences after Redditor Ara-Rat asked the online community,
"What did your teacher do that made you call them 'the worst teacher ever'?"
"Questioned 5th-grade teacher's manner of pluralizing a word on the board. Got sent to the library to look it up in a dictionary and report my findings to the class.
Decades later and I'm still mad at that woman for trying to publicly humiliate a ten-year-old student."
That's awful. What is with adults who try to deliberately an example out of children?
"My old band teacher..."
"My old band teacher threw a projector at his students. He left the district later that year."
That was... probably for the best, when you think about it. (I had a teacher who threw a girl's pencil case out the window when she wouldn't stop talking; no, he was not fired.)
"My 3rd-grade teacher..."
"My 3rd-grade teacher got frustrated with a kid's stutter and started pounding the kid's desk with a closed fist while mocking his stutter."
Hopefully this teacher was disciplined and/or fired. That's the sort of behavior that thankfully would not fly today––it would go viral so fast.
"The worst were the teachers..."
"The worst were the teachers who would take books away from me and hold me up for ridicule because they disagreed or didn't approve of the genre or subject material. I was always into science fiction and horror genre's and many of them didn't consider it true literature worthy of reading. I remember my father getting into it with one of the teachers who disapproved of Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, to which he pointed out it was on the required reading list of a lot of major universities. Dad was awesome like that, and chewed the teacher and principal out for having the temerity to try to stop any student who wanted to read, regardless of what the genre was."
Teachers who mock students for reading are the worst. Reading is one of the best things any student can do––there are so many benefits! Hopefully you have not lost your love of reading.
"When I'd instinctively try..."
"She tied me to my chair. I was hyperactive, and also 5. She would also hold my hand during formation in the mornings and squeeze so hard my tiny knuckles would crack. When I'd instinctively try to pull my hand away, she'd hold onto it and smile at me and ask me if it hurt."
The abuse here is almost incomprehensible. But it happens: a few years ago, a teacher made headlines for hanging a student by his coat on a coatrack. You can bet there were lawsuits.
"I was in the only dress I owned..."
"Tried to get me suspended for a dress code violation when I was 15. I was in the only dress I owned at the time because I was going to my best friend's funeral. She'd committed suicide two days before. I was crying and begging her to just let me stay till my mom picked up my remaining friends to go to the funeral. Said teacher then took me to the office and I had to sit in the front office under a tarp until my mom picked me up."
"My 8th grade English teacher..."
"My 8th grade English teacher never published grades and every time I'd ask her about it she'd answer with, "I don't know, what do you think it is?"
IF I KNEW WOULD I BE ASKING?!"
I've had a few teachers like this. Makes one wonder: Are you actually grading anything? WHAT are you doing, exactly?
"My biology teacher..."
"My biology teacher took my yearbook away right before the summer break. I didn't put it away in time.
That year my parents divorced and I was moving away. I told her this after class and she didn't care. She kept it until the last day. I didn't get any signatures.
Ended up throwing it away. What a witch."
"My university lecturer..."
"My university lecturer was the most incompetent bloke I've ever met. He taught I.T and for the life of me, I can't figure out how he got that job.
- In the first lesson, he got us to sign up to Twitter so we could share lesson content, tweet at each other so we'd get to know one another, and also tweet him. Everybody, including the lecturer, used Twitter once. We just used the university intranet to share stuff.
- Again, during the first lesson, he announced he was going on holiday for four weeks during our first term.
- All of his lessons were PowerPoint presentations, each slide had about a paragraph of text written on them which he would read out loud while awkwardly looking over his shoulder. Once he was done doing that he would essentially repeat what he had just said.
- One day he asked us for help in booking his airline tickets online because he couldn't figure out how to use the website.
As sad as these stories are, consider that these teachers are very much the exception to the rule. The majority of the teachers I have known over the years genuinely care for their students, work tirelessly on their lesson plans, and would never tolerate a single moment of the behavior featured here. Thank you to those teachers for doing their jobs––we appreciate you. (And ya'll deserve a raise, it's honestly messed up how little lawmakers understand about how hard your jobs actually are.)
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!
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