There’s this boy who occupies a big part of my heart. His story is pretty miraculous, being born around 25 weeks gestation and weighing in at a tiny 1 pound 10 ounces.
Sometimes I think his first three months of life in the NICU groomed his personality and demeanor in an extraordinary way. Struggling to survive and facing truly frightening life-threatening situations regularly. He endured pain on a regular basis. His medical records are filled with stuff that is absolutely terrifying to think about. And he really was alone in the world, no visitors ever. Although he was blessed by the love of wonderful caring nurses in the absence of his birth parents or any other family.
And…. I feel certain he had a constant round-the-clock Visitor, who had everything under control.
Not the typical start to one’s life. Not at all.
The little guy came to our family a survivor. He has a unique way of accepting whatever. Just being content with life. Rolling with the punches. Going with the flow.
The best example of his unique demeanor happened one year ago on the fourth of July. Little J was 5 years old. His mom and dad let him spend the night with Grandpa and Grammy B. We hadn’t bought any fireworks, just planning on enjoying the magnificent displays from our neighbors. But J’s folks had let him bring a couple things to shoot off. And he was super excited to do so.
So the three of us sat side by side in our lawn chairs out on the driveway while the neighbors around us started their firework parties. One neighbor boy noticed that little J was just sitting there with his old grandparents, not doing any fireworks. And he felt sorry for little J. So he brought several sparklers over and said, “Here are some fireworks for you to light!”. Little J excitedly said, “Oh I’ve brought my own fireworks that I’ll light up after the sun goes down.” The neighbor boy kindly left the sparklers for J, which we quickly burned up.
Then we sat back in our chairs and watched the skies. Our neighborhood really knows how to put on a show for the 4th. Little J would watch one after another and repeatedly ask Grandpa “Is it dark enough yet for my fireworks?”. All the while keeping an eye on the sky in awe of the bright colors and lights and loud booms. It was impressive. Truly.
Finally the time had come. J was over the top excited about his two fireworks and he proudly announced to the neighbors it was time for his fireworks. Grandpa helped him light the first one. Then they ran fast back to the chairs to watch as it sprayed colors about two feet in the air. Two feet. 24 inches. And approximately 10 seconds duration. No loud noise, just a little poof sound. Grandpa tried to pace the excitement 😁 and suggested we watch some more of the neighbors’ show before we shot off the last one. But it wasn’t long before J was ready to set off his final firework.
Same type fountain cone. Same sad little pathetic result. I was kind of bracing myself for tearful disappointment from the little guy. Honestly, I was a bit tearful with disappointment for little J. Wishing we’d bought more for him to shoot off.
But not J. Nope. He was ecstatic about how beautiful his fireworks were. No mention of how they were so very very different from the massive fireworks all the neighbors were shooting off. No complaints about “I wish I had more to shoot off.” No begging grandpa to go buy some more at a nearby stand.
Pretty sure I could learn some important life lessons from this young man.
Be happy with what you have.
Make your life fun.
Comparison brings the death of contentment.
Yes, he was only 5. And he’s only 6 this year. But the contented attitude continues. He’s happy. Just happy to be. He came very close to not being. I’m so very grateful he is. So very grateful he is ours. Thank you, God.