Waiting for you to come out of your co-op class on the Tuesday before your birthday I hear a little boy telling your sternly, "Remember James, my mom's phone number is 555-5555" As we walked to the car I asked, "James, why was that little boy giving you his mom's number?"
"Oh! Because I invited him to my birthday party!"
"Who else did you invite?"
"Everyone in my class!"
Too bad for you, on your 8th birthday your dad had to be in Ohio and the "party" was kept to a very few people including Mimi and Papa. But if you had your way, you would have had every person you ever met there, and enjoyed each of them. You are so social and love to be around people. You are always up for play dates, shindigs and dinners with friends. I think you get that from your Grandma's side.
This year you have matured beyond measure in every way: spiritually, academically and emotionally. Sometimes I sit in awe of you and the young man you are. The curiosity you had as a very small child has not left you, and you know more about world history than I do, just from your own reading. Your attention span in homeschooling has gotten greater and made this the best year of homeschooling yet. I wish I could sum all of you up in this simple blog post, but you are too special and complex to do so.
This year you have taken a great liking to St. John Paul II and this seems to have lit a fire in you like never before. One day after listening to a talk about your beloved saint, you told me you were going to do a 40 day fast from sweets since JPII prayed a lot and Jesus spent 40 days in the desert. I honestly thought it would last a few days, but a week in and you were still going strong. On Sunday I told you you could eat sweets because we don't fast on Sundays. While biting into your cookie, you asked simply, "Mommy, did Jesus come out of the desert on Sundays?" You didn't waver from that fast the entire 40 days. You fasted better than I have in my entire life, offering your sweets up for the intentions you set out before you. This is only one example of the way you humble me and make me want to be a better person everyday.
A few weeks ago, we had company and a 13 year old boy (who we have known many years) was at our home. In the course of a year, this boy went from my shoulder, to towering over me. From a sweet high pitched voice, to a low man's voice. As you walk by my side these days, still hovering at armpit level, I know the days are coming fast where you will tower over me. As you reach out to hold my hand in mass, I know the days are coming quickly where you will no longer want to. I know the days are coming where our conversations can be more complex and I pray they are as open as they are now. I pray you never stop thinking everyone is your friend. and I pray you never ever lose the great love for learning you have.
Through this year of moving and transition, of having to say goodbye to old friends and making new ones, of experiencing the death of your BooBoo, of getting used to family being hours and hours away, you have handled everything better than I could have ever imagined and I am so proud of you. It's something you have done since you were little; if there is a problem, you seek to fix it. If there is a cloudy day, you will find the sunshine in everything. You always try to look on the bright side of things. You feel immense compassion for those that are suffering, and I have seen you cry FOR other people more times in your little life than most adults do in a lifetime. May you always find the light in the darkness, and may you continue to be a shining star in this world. I love you my son!
Alive not Dead: an Adventure through Life
2 years ago