My son, my hero

Are your children your heroes? Did you ever stop to think about that? Has your child ever done anything that motivates you so much that it makes you rethink if you are doing what you want in life. Have you ever told your kid to follow his drJano-pirate age 6-7eam and to do what he “really” wants and not what someone else wants him to do? Did you ever realize that you told your child to do this but that you are not doing what you preach?
I tell you that I can answer “yes” to every single one of those questions. My son’s name is Jonathan, he is 25 yrs. old, lives in New York City in the East Village and I am happy to say that he did follow my advise. He is doing exactly what he dreamed of doing. Watercolor of Jonathan in 8th grade by Dora Ficher

I remember back when he was in kindergarten I guess, 5-6 years old he was a dreamer. Anywhere we went he stood in the background admiring and checking everything out before jumping in to join the crowd. He is an observer and picks up every detail of what he sees. I think that is the reason he decided to do what he does. During T-ball at that time he would get bored of waiting for the ball so he would sit on the grass and look at the flowers, the bugs and forget that he was waiting for the ball. When I tell him this story now he laughs because he became an incredible athlete all through school playing soccer and wrestling.

He graduated from Friends Select high school here in Philly and since in   9th-10th grade he knew he wanted to go to The University of Pennsylvania. He is a city boy. He applied early decision to Penn, got in and got the “Mayor’s Scholarship” which they give to several kids who live in Philadelphia to go to Penn. When he had to choose a major he was very confused and decided to go with Political Science and Fine Arts Photography as a minor. He thought he would go to Law School after graduating. At that point he started working for the school newspaper The Daily Pennsylvanian” as a photojournalist. He became a staff photographer very quickly. He absolutely loved it and took some amazing photographs for the DP. He had been into photography since he was 10.

During his junior year he was involved in a very bad car accident with 3 of his friends on Oct. 22, 2005. He was not able to go back to school that semester because he had to have two surgeries. He did go back to school in January and graduated a semester after all his friends (Dec. 2006). During his time off he lived at home so I could take care of him while he recuperated both physically and emotionally. We had long conversations during that time when he realized that he didn’t really want to go to Law school. He just thoughtIMG_5641 that Law School would be ok because he would get a good job. But having gone through a traumatic experience (talking from experience, but that will be another post) made him evaluate what life is all about and he decided to pursue his photography. He has been working for himself free lancing ever since. He started out in Philly and then moved to NYC where he lives with his girlfriend whom he met at Penn and who also wanted to go to Law School. Worked in a firm for 2-3 years and is now in one of the NY Culinary schools studying to be a chef.  They live in this wonderful pre-war apartment where the shower is in the kitchen, how cool is that?

So, why is he my hero? He is doing what I wish I would have done back in my 20’s but didn’t have the guts to do. Watching how Jonathan is doing gave me the courage to do it. He is following his dream. He is a professional photographer in NYC. Taking cues from him, after much soul searching, I retired from teaching and am now following my dream.

Above photo: Jonathan and Jessica (his girlfriend)


Photograph by Jonathan Meter

Check out his website:

And his blog:

12 Replies to “My son, my hero”

  1. Oh, man, this is a great story! I can see you following up with a post about the courage it takes to be an artist and to go for it. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. I loved this post and then I read the comment your son left and it brought tears to my eyes!
    My son has also developed a passion for photography (yes I am a proud mama!)
    I did not want either one of my children to follow my path which was to spend 15+ years trying to patch up enough credits to get an accounting degree only to discover that it was photography I wanted to do. I never did graduate and someday I would love to go back and get an art degree. It’s not too late. Anyway, this is too long but I was touched by your story.

  3. Alyson, thank you for your comment! I think a post about the courage it takes to be an artist is a great idea!

  4. Hi Dianne, I appreciate your comment! It’s so amazing how much we can learn from our kids. How old are your children? It’s definitely never too late to go back to school. I was just reading your blog and was amazed at how you color your photos. Very cool!
    Thank you!

  5. Dora,
    What a heartwarming post. Your son Jonathan sounds terrific, and shoots outstandingly.
    Your post, your blog is just what I needed this morning. You must be very proud of him.
    Thank you so much for sharing your son’s work with us as well.
    carinos, Magdalena Adrian

  6. Linda, Thank you for your comment!
    Magdalena, I’m glad you liked my post and Jonathan’s photos. I am VERY proud of him! He is a wonderful person!

  7. Dora,
    You are so right about following your dreams, life is much happier when you do…I love this post and look forward to reading more of your blogs…I miss you!

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