Okay, bear with me here. I know I posted a picture almost exactly like this yesterday; but I think this one is just so cute, too--it must be shared! These two priceless photos of my boys never made it into any of my albums, but were tucked away for use in a possible project many years ago--so finding these forgotten treasures was an unexpected pleasure. I was so tickled when I saw them. Especially because both of them have my baby in them, front and center, and I'm really missing him these days.
This photo really brings me back. I particularly love the expression on son #3's face; he's the one with the impish grin sitting right behind my baby. The grin is impish because my middle child was an imp! A lovable imp with a sparkle in his eye. And check out the bruises up and down son #4's shins (he's the one on the far right). That boy had only one speed and was constantly bumping into things and getting boo-boo's. I'll never forget the time we were at a yearly check-up, and the pediatrician looked at his banged-up legs and asked how they'd gotten that way. I began to say, "He's a bit accident prone--" but he cut me off and said, "Let him tell me." That's right, he had so many bruises that most of the time, the poor thing looked like someone had hit him in the legs with a baseball bat. How he made it to adulthood in one piece, I'll never know.
In this moment captured on film, brothers #1, #2, and #4 only have eyes for their baby brother, the star of the show. Awww...was he a cute little guy, or what? And he was like built-in entertainment when he came along and joined the other four boys after a five-year hiatus. He made them laugh, but he also taught them patience, selflessness, and tenderness, and these lessons enriched the lives of that little fraternity of rough-and-tumble boys.
It's hard to believe that the little guy who's center stage in this photo is now a 6'2" young man, an Army ROTC cadet, and in college! But he is. I miss having him here; I miss his sweet personality: his unique blend of maturity, compassion, kindness, obedience, devotion to his Faith, and a silly, off-beat sense of humor that you might miss if you're not listening, because his clever comments are often delivered sotto voce. (He's definitely not the loudest person in our family.) But I think he's doing just fine where he is. Yesterday, he posted these simple words on his Facebook page, and they made me smile: "Complete first week of college: check."
I promise that this is it, for awhile at least, as far as old pictures of my boys. I'm not just a one-trick pony--I have other interesting things to blog about besides my children...okay, I'll come clean: my fingers were crossed. But I really will try to get onto other subjects!