Watching my own kids succeed is thrilling. Sometimes, the thrill is so overwhelming that I can feel my heart physically ache and my breath get taken away. Nothing compares to that feeling; except, of course, the thrill of watching my nieces and nephews succeed too.
Between us, my husband and I have 9 nieces and nephews. They range in age from 30 (yikes!) all the way down to 12 years old, and they are all pretty freakin’ awesome! This morning, I got to share in the awesomeness of one of them.
My nephew – he’s the incredibly tall, thin one in this picture – is a high school senior now. Once upon a time he was an adorably chunky little guy with the greatest smile and a habit for disappearing in the blink of an eye.
I remember taking him and his brother to a pet store when they were just little guys. All three of us moved methodically from one lizard cage to the next, mesmerized (or so I thought) by all of the reptiles. And then, suddenly, I only had one kid. Oh no. This can’t be good. I started racing through the store, frantically yelling his name and getting no response. The workers joined in on the search and, fortunately, we found my nephew. He was, indeed, mesmerized by a reptile; it just happened to be a reptile clear on the opposite end of the store. Ugh. The whole episode lasted for about 2 minutes, though in my mind, it lasted for hours.
I wasn’t the only family member to lose that kid. He was quick and stealthy and swift. On more than one occasion, he used those skills to disappear from every single one of us. Fortunately, we always found him safe and sound, always wearing that same adorable grin.
That brings us to this morning and an early morning phone call from my sister.
No, she didn’t lose him. He’s safe and sound and, at 17 years old, he still has that same adorable grin. And it seems that colleges have taken notice of how quick and stealthy and swift he is, because the basketball coach at his college of choice showed up last night to say, We Want You!
My breath was taken away and my heart physically ached. I couldn’t be happier.