Now he was being introduced to the Marine major. The person who was performing the introduction was telling the major that Billy was a veteran, and that Billy had a son who was a sergeant in the Green Berets--in Vietnam.
The major told Billy that the Green Berets were doing a great job, and that he should be proud of his son.
"I am. I certainly am," said Billy Pilgrim.
Billy is older. He's reached the age where most adults, without even being prompted, will pull out their wallets to display pictures of their kids and grandkids. I've reached that age, as well. My kids aren't grown, but I will take out my iPhone at the drop of a hat to show friends pictures of them.
Like Billy, I am proud of my son and daughter. Every time I watch my daughter dance, I want to somehow freeze the moment. I don't want it to end. When I'm helping my son get ready for bed, I want to take him to Neverland so that he won't get any older. Concerts, Recitals. Wrestling tournaments. Basketball games. Football games. I love watching my children in their natural habitats.
I remember one of my kids' dance recitals I attended a couple years ago. It happened to fall on Father's Day. I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate, but there was a father behind me, complaining. Loudly.
"How long is this thing going to last? . . . I can't believe they scheduled this crap on Father's Day . . . I'm going to leave as soon as she's done dancing . . . Christ almighty, she's only in ONE number. Why should I stay for all of this shit?" It went on and on.
I sat there, getting more and more annoyed. He was ruining the recital for everyone around him. Finally, I couldn't take it any longer. I turned to my wife, who was sitting beside me, and said loudly, "This is the best Father's Day I've ever had! Only an asshole wouldn't want to see his kids dance."
The father behind me stopped talking. Within a couple minutes, he got up and left. I hope his daughter didn't see him stalking out of the auditorium.
Tonight, Saint Marty is thankful for his son and daughter.