26 May 2009

Happy Birthday, Kaleb!

You're 9 today! A growing boy with an emerging sense of self, a critical eye being honed and a sense of humor that's finding its voice.

Case in point: When I went off on one of My frequent flights of fancy concerning President Obama calling Me at 2 a.m. to wail about how he needs My help to keep solving the world's problems and I remarked that if I'd known how much work I'd have to do to prop up the President I would have run for the office Myself you quickly retorted "You would have been the last white President of the United States."

Cracked. Me. Up.

Another time, you patiently outlasted My stream-of-consciousness verbosity about something or the other and then deadpanned "Sometimes you really do have nothing in Your head."

And there are new depths to you that I am learning to admire. That sunny afternoon when you walked out of your school and told Me you'd been selected "Student of the Month," I high-fived you with a grin and then you took a deep breath and clenched your body in triumph with a heartfelt "Yes!" I knew you'd wanted to win that designation and that you had been denied it at the other school for religious idiocies, but only then did I realize how much you wanted it and how proud you were at having earned it. You deserved it. You have always given a strong effort and I admire you for that.

As I admire you for taking that determination to the basketball court. In Our sadly infrequent pick-up games, you are always the smallest player, but you play the hardest, running, jumping, moving, playing with every ounce of you in the game. You get frustrated, you get upset, but you clench your teeth and get back in the game. And when you make the right play--and you do that more and more--you cherish the moment in a way I never could. And you have learned to ask Me what you did right, though, based largely on My example with My play, you still spend a lot of time on what you did wrong. We'll both work on that.

There are times when I see anxiety in your eyes and in your face. Moments where you are uncomfortable, confused, lost. They hurt every time I see them because I would rather face a hundred such moments Myself than have you go through any painful moment. But I clench My teeth, tighten My gut and act like I don't see what you're going through. These are your lessons to learn, your way, and My job, My very difficult job, is to do nothing but make sure I'm there for you when you need Me. You are not an extension of Me to be controlled, but a brilliant boy who has long shown more abilities than I and thus merits the opportunity to develop in his own way.

And My heart rests easy because every time you truly get stuck, you do come to Me. I hope I haven't let you down, though I know I don't always have the answer you need. My most fervent hope is that even in My weakest efforts, I am giving you something you can use for when I'm not near, to help you in the future when Life seems to get more complicated and confusing. 

But if I leave you with a lesson for now, it's that you can be who you are, that you can take pride in your strengths and be accepting of your weaknesses, building upon one while overcoming the other. Change is a constant and the best changes are the ones you make yourself, on your own, for your own reasons, whether they be in your heart or upon the world.

Your time as a child is drawing to a close, slowly, inevitably. But your time as My child is forever. I wouldn't have it any other way.

I love you, Kaleb. You are a wonder. 

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