I have a son who wore boots and a hat all his infant days, and now he has grown up and moved to Texas. He’s a pioneer who went west to make his way in the world. Without having any friends out there, he left the many friends here in Tennessee and took a low-paying job straight out of college: he drove to the west Texas dust with his jeep and his smile. He spent some lonely days at first – probably enough so that if I had known I would have gone and got him. But with his grit and positive attitude he ground out a living and won the hearts of people on that prairie. Then he met a girl.

That girl is a Texas girl and she is perfect for this cowboy from Tennessee. And they will be married in a few months to enter more adventures together. In his eyes and voice it’s pretty clear that his heart is hers.

I am proud of that boy who takes a positive look forward and back.

See most people talk up their new opportunity, either because they really are positive, or because they have to try and convince themselves and others that the change is the best thing in the world. Then they often run down the people and circumstances from their past as if it’s a good thing that they left it all behind – and good riddance. They leave those people and God’s gifts of experience trampled and demonized in their trail. They have a very shallow bottom line.

But my son looks positive to the past as well. He is on his third step in his career ladder, but he has not burnt bridges and looks behind him fondly and happy for those times too. He has made no enemies, and lives with energy and style. My son is Nick, but I just call him Tutwater. And though he’s become more gentle and loving and sweeter on the outside, he’s the same energetic adventurer on the in – and that’s a good thing.