A shameless shout out to my boys. I'm not given to random holidays just dropped on the calendar. But times being what they are, I thought I'd take advantage of this little annual news blurb to give a couple thumbs up to the four.
|From top left: Our second, Our third, our youngest and our oldest - and the four|
I've posted several times recently on my second oldest and his entrepreneurial endeavors. So far things are skating smartly along. I have to admit the first month was better than we expected. He and his delightful young fiancée have done a wonderful job. The fact that they have done this now, when it seems every day I see more small businesses I've known my whole life close their doors, is impressive. But that's him. A restless spirit, he is the one who always has a new hobby, interest, passion, or goal. For instance, he got a part in our community theater's October production of "Clue" because of course. After all, working full time, opening a business, and planning a wedding just wasn't enough to have on his plate. But that's him in a nutshell. Yet he's not the only one we're proud of.
Our oldest continues to move steadily along. The quiet and reserved one, I've written on his roller coaster ride in life. Originally he was interested in politics, but decided for a career in the culinary world since he has a gift for, and love for, cooking phenomenal meals. Sadly, or perhaps providentially, he was hit with a catastrophic food allergy to fish. It is so bad he can't even be in a Walmart super center when the seafood counters are being cleaned without triggering an allergic reaction. Needless to say, he was advised that almost no culinary school in the world would accept him with such heavy and life threatening restrictions. So he's moved back toward his original interests. He's pondered law (in the Constitutional sense), but fortune and opportunities have channeled him toward several semesters of African and Middle Eastern studies. He's now involved in a think tank dedicated to gathering information about Muslim immigrants from Africa in the US - the data from which will be published and used for future analysis. In October he will be taking part in a forum with Afghan refuges who fled the Taliban after our withdrawal. Whatever vocation he chooses, I told him there's a reason he's been funneled in this direction. That he's near perfect in his grades and could write his own ticket in terms of any graduate school means he's keeping all these developments and options in mind.
Our third oldest is, alas, in a holding pattern. That's not easy for someone who is a Triple-A personality plus. He's the one who was training for law enforcement when he injured his leg and was down for over four months. It was during this time that the BLM 'Cops as Nazis' narrative took off. As he said, he wasn't going risk his life for a country that would only care if a Republican killed him. It was then that we bought furniture from a regional manager from Chick fil A. He was moving to Texas and was downsizing from a house with three living rooms and a family room to just two living rooms and a family room. Needless to say, it was impressive. I asked him what he did for a living, and when he said where he was and how he started, my son's wheels started turning. That's his goal now. Climb the corporate ladders as long as possible without going to college (which he sees as a waste of money in most cases), and then only take needed classes with money in hand. That way he avoids any debt (which the older two were able to do as well). He simply has to amass the hours and training certifications to get to the next step, which should wrap up next year (a little more on that in a bit). Though whatever he does, we're sure someday he'll incorporate his unbounding love for animals in the mix.
Honorable son number four is now a teenager first class - and everything that comes with those glorious teen years. I've written that the three oldest did yeoman's work making him feel part of the family. Despite being adults, that included sitting on Santa's lap, tricks or treating, playing his games and playing with his toys. They really did what they could to make him feel part of the four. To a degree it has worked. Nonetheless, through the fortunes of life and time, the world and family our youngest grew up in has little resemblance to the world the older three knew. While my mom and dad often visited and helped take care of the older boys when they were young, our youngest had to help take care of my mom after my dad passed away when he was young. That, along with the whirlwind changes in our world from the one my older sons experienced, has given him a somewhat altered view of things compared to that of his brothers. He has a love and aptitude for all things electronic. Recently he's become fascinated with sound recording and engineering. He's already dabbled with computer programing. And he adores retro-tech (having bought me a vintage Atari game for Christmas). He's our fix it guy and the one the family let's figure out how to hook up the latest tech gadgets. All and all, a young kid who is far older than his years suggest.
That's it. That's the four. I would never pretend they're perfect angels. Like everyone, they have their moments. And woe betide the bystander when they wade into an argument over something. The middle two are especially passionate and their disagreements over the years have been epic, with the rest of us usually opting to keep our distance.
Next year is going to be a year of big events, Lord willing. Our son's wedding is in May, and our oldest will graduate on the same weekend. Around that same time is when our third oldest will have passed his requisite trial period in order to move up with a promotion. Not bad at a meager 23. years old. Our youngest is going through Confirmation for next year as well, plus he will be moving into high school next fall. High school already. Whew. Time does fly.
As I do a quick scan over the four of them, I don't mind what I see. They're hard working and stubbornly reliable. Unless they are extremely successful as sneaks, they walk a good walk, especially in our heathen culture, where sin is mandated and virtue condemned. They also pursue attitudes and exercises in good behavior that are roundly condemned today, so that's a plus. Though they are busy up to their earlobes, they still find time for the family. Not as much now of course. But when they can, they do. They also go out of their way to keep Sundays open so they can go to church, with the family if possible. Sometimes this means stacking their schedules and working backbreaking hours to make sure Sunday mornings at least are open. Again, in this day and age, I'll take it.
|The boys and my longsuffering significant other|