Which brings me to my favourite today. Our son, Joshua. We think he's pretty special.
Sure, he's a little forgetful - like when he told me last week at 6:46am that he needed a quiche for school that day (he leaves for the bus at 7:05am). And, he might tease his sisters a good bit. But he is charming. Truly.
I like to tell the story about his spanish class from last year to describe him in succinct fashion. Last year he selected the Spanish 1A class for his foreign language requirement. The students must achieve an 85% average to qualify for Spanish 1B in eighth grade. He received an 83%. But, his teacher told him, "I should just pass you because you're such a nice kid". And he did. I'd been calling him our little redundant Spaniard all summer only to find out he'd been "promoted". My point is this: he might not ever have the best grades, but I have no doubt that he'll be successful, just because he has many other gifts.
Rob was really impressed with him a few years ago when they attended an NRA banquet together. Josh was tasked with selling raffle tickets to attendees. The kid is a born salesman. The tickets were 10 chances for $10 or 20 chances for $20, with an additional chance for a special gun. He upsold to every single person except one.
Fast forward to this past summer. He signed up to play football. He's been playing soccer since he was five and he's honestly a pretty good player. He's been wanting to play football and we allowed him to try both sports plus maintaining his grades. I don't think he realized it, but football is hard. And, since his stats read 5'6" and 95 pounds, he's not really built for football. He suffered through it. We literally were counting down the days until the season was over. He rode the bench constantly.
And then. And then two nights ago, at the last practice, the kicker was injured. The coach asked a few kids to kick and Josh very bravely asked if he could try. The coach muttered something like, "sure I'll let you try a few then". So he kicked. Turns out the kid can kick. Like pretty well. The coach asked him, "why didn't you tell me before the last practice that you could kick"?
So, last night, after riding the bench for months, for the last game, he started.
|that's him with the red shoes, #87
And, every chance he got, he scored a field goal (four in all). Each kick straighter than the next. The coach again asked him where he'd been all season! The coolest thing was that his friends and their parents were so proud of him. He said that on the bus back to the school, one of the kids yelled out, "let's give a hand for our kicker, Josh"! As parents, it was so exciting to see him feel so validated.
We love our son. He's not perfect. But, he's a great kid. And, we're proud of him.
I can't help but think of a family in Virginia that tragically lost their beloved son just a short time ago. I can't imagine the heartache - because as much as our hearts swell with love for our son, theirs are breaking every day.
One last little note: yesterday I had the chance to help serve the boys on the football team with a hot meal. It was about the coolest thing to watch them all hold hands and pray before their meal, thanking the Lord for the food, the moms, and safety on the field - in a public school. Pretty awesome.