this post from two years ago, on the occasion of his birthday, is a favorite of mine.
You will think I am exaggerating and seeing things through incredibly opaque and decidedly rose-colored glasses when I tell you that he has given his father and me pretty much complete joy (with pretty much no requirement for disciplinary measures) his entire life. (Aside from a year-long phase of throwing temper tantrums periodically, from age 3 to age 4--but you can hardly count that. And he went into that brief lion's phase as docile as a lamb, then came out the other end as sweet and compliant as ever.)
This son never acted like the spoiled baby--even though when he came along, we had four older boys ages 5 through 9, and he could have played the baby card to the hilt. Instead, he couldn't wait to be "one of the guys"; to be in on his big brothers' teasing jokes; to follow in his heroes' footsteps in all things--playing football and lacrosse and attending the same high school where they'd made a name for the Pearl family. He idolized them and used them as his role models, in his humility never knowing that in his own right, he is a role model for any young man. He is the most even-keeled, sweet, obedient, hard-working, responsible, intelligent, funny kid. He's never the loudest person in the room, but he makes friends wherever he goes. I think his peers are drawn to his genuine goodness.
This son of mine would probably be embarrassed if he read this (but I doubt he will, because he's not a regular follower of my blog--which is perhaps the only weakness in his character--he he he); but truly, he is a rare soul. He was always more grown up-acting than his age. As a small boy, he seemed like an old sage trapped in a wee child's body. As a middle-schooler, I can't count the number of times on a Friday night that he would ask his dad or me if we would be able to drive him over to church for Confession the next afternoon; then after he turned 16 and got his driver's license, I can't count the number of times he would appear all cleaned up, wearing khakis and a nice polo shirt on a Saturday afternoon, ready to drive himself over to Confession. And this urge to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation on a regular basis was--and is--just part of his make-up, because it's not like we were ever constantly on his back to do it.
I say this about my boys a lot--about different ones at different times--but when I grow up, I want to be just like my youngest son.
We were able to Face-time with him yesterday, before he went out for the night to enjoy a legal alcoholic beverage or two with his 21-and-over buddies at school, and the conversation started with a dose of humor. My husband and I said "Happy Birthday!"--and with a big smile on his cute mug our boy responded automatically, "Yeah, Happy Birthday! Woops, I mean...ha ha." We all started to laugh about his faux pas and we quoted comedian Brian Regan: "You don't know how to use the 'you, too' phrase!" It was so funny.
Wait, you do know what I'm talking about, right? If not, here's a YouTube clip of one of our favorite comedians (Jim Gaffigan being the other), a nice Irish Catholic boy whose humor is absolutely G-rated and absolutely hilarious.
|Here's a picture of the almost all-grown-up birthday boy from this past Christmas, with his dear old dad.|
And I hope you're rooting for Tom Brady today (although I know it's hard not to root for that sweet Southern boy, Peyton--he's supposed to be the enemy here in NE, but I secretly like him way more than I should).
And hey, take luck!