Monday, December 12, 2011

Happy birthday, Joel

On this day, 17 years ago, we received a very special gift ...

When he was born, Joel was our biggest baby yet.  He weighed 9 pounds, 15 ounces and I remember Grammie's remark, "Look at his jowls."  He certainly had plenty of baby fat.

I remember a little boy who wouldn't give up.  Most of our friends and family know the story of the persistent asker,

"Mommy, can I have a cookie."
"No, sweetie." 
(she didn't get what I want, I'll make sure she understands)
"Mommy, can I have a cookie."
"No, sweetie." 
(there are a lot of people around here, maybe she doesn't know I'm talking to her, try again)
"Mommy, can I have a cookie."
"Not now sweetie. 
(maybe she can't understand me.  I'll slow down)
Mommy, can. I. have. a. cookie."
"No, sweetie. It's almost dinner." 
(maybe slower and louder will get my point across)
"Mommy, can. I. have. a. cookie."
"Sweetie, what is it about no you don't understand?" 
(what is it about me having a cookie you don't understand?  wait, did you say dinner?  oh, well that changes things.  dinner works for me)
I remember a bigger boy who ran almost a mile up a hill at the end of a long walk in Cameroon, just because someone wondered if he could do it.

I remember a boy who made up a game with baseball cards and dice and played for hours, keeping score sheets and stats in looseleaf notebooks, mystifying the rest of us with his complicated rules and lightning computation skills.

I remember a boy who made a smashing first impression on our very first high school co-op day with a whole new group of peers by crashing into a chain-link fence as he ran, eyes gazing upward, trying to catch the grape, thrown high in the air, in his mouth.

I remember a boy who would ask, almost every day, "Are we doing anything today?"

I remember a boy who played the policeman, the D.O.W.N.'s delivery man, the screamer, and more in brother's video productions.

I remember a boy who sat outside reading on a chilly day, who was happy to get a box of used books for Christmas.

I remember a boy very eager to play soccer with the big boys, doubling on the middle school and varsity teams, content to practice with the big guys and sit the bench, just for a chance to get in the game.

And now, I know ...

A young man who loves the Lord,
loves his family and friends,

works hard,
plays hard ...

that's Joel, in green, with the N, at last night's NCAA College Cup

and still is happy when he gets a cookie.

Happy birthday, buddy.  We love you.

1 comment:

tonia said...


this was perfect. Happy late birthday to your Joel, who seems like a fine young man indeed.