Sunday, February 8, 2009

happy birthday, Mark!

The world doesn't embrace shy children. Nor does it celebrate the quiet and sensitive ... rather, the extroverts are noticed. "Class participation" is even given a grade in school. It's the job of families to love these children for who they are and who they'll become. No, it doesn't take a village. It takes the love of family and home to nurture, encourage and wait on a quiet one to emerge.

My son Mark was such a little boy. He hid behind my legs and rarely uttered a word to strangers. But he came alive at home: a racing, tumbling jumble of a boy who loved wrestling with his dad and brothers. And a worker. At age six he helped a neighbor install a rock wall, asking the neighbor after a 15-minute lunch break, "ready to get back to work?"

It took a few years for Mark to shed his reticence with the world. I believe there was a sort of brewing going on inside him: a quiet building of a maturity far beyond his years. He is, still, a young man of few words.

Today, my youngest son turns 21 years old. He is a junior in college, engaged to be married to a beautiful young woman. His mind is immersed in his business classes, calculating his future. If Mark's assigned a task, it's as good as done. He hates to be late, as his usually-tardy mother and sister well know. A tad impatient. Through jobs at college, he's learning the nuances of building relationships and managing people. Imagine. My quiet little boy.

Which just goes to show. God fashions our children for unique purposes and gives them to us for a time. For protection, nurturing and finally, release.

Happy birthday, Mark! The world will welcome you.


Anonymous said...

I still chuckle when I remember Mark "scolding" his mother for dropping ice on the floor and not picking it up...because he stepped on it and got his sock wet.

He is a very special man, and you're right: you can rely on him to get the job done.

Dan said...

Mom...up at 3:00am?! The roles have I'm the one going to bed at 10:00!

Anyway, you are right about my awesome brother. A man of few words, a hard worker, and committed to everything he does. Happy 21st!