There is something about him that is just good. He was born this way, and I'm sure his father's genes have a lot to do with it.
M was a colicky baby. We spent many hours walking and bouncing trying to keep him happy. But once he hit one year old, his sweet spirit instantly shown.
He has never been mean spirited. He's never been one to push back. He's never understood teasing...it just has never been funny to him.
All he's ever wanted is to make people happy, and most especially, make people laugh.
With his innocence and naivety it was hard to get the other kids to laugh. He never made jokes at other peoples expense, and that is what little boys like to do best. They didn't think he was very funny. At seven years old, his jokes were juvenile...(although totally age appropriate,) but children those days/these days gain a bit of street smarts early on from their siblings. M, being the oldest, never had the benefit of an older brother to educate/tarnish his innocence.
Instead he had two very young parents who adored him and laughed at everything he said. He would walk into a room and they would applaud, because to them, he was perfect and charming in every way.
I think back to that little boy who struggled in his early elementary school years and marvel at what he has become today.
M, if anything...is an entertainer.
He found music in 5th grade. He started with the clarinet, because my mother had my sister's in the closet. He instantly connected with the music and soon wanted to take private lessons to play songs more complicated than Mary had a Little Lamb. In the final concert in 6th grade M played a solo of the Mission Impossible theme song. It was epic. It was one of those movie moments where the entire crowd jumped to their feet and applauded in awe. He was amazing...and happier in that moment than ever in his entire life. In the talent show a few weeks later he played again, and was such a driving force in the show he received a school spirit award that had been on hiatus for many years. He was so wonderful they resurrected it, and put a name on a plaque in his honor.
In Jr. High his Omi bought him a Saxophone, and the rest is history. He is now in the Varsity Jazz band and plays first chair. He's pretty amazing. He has such beautiful tone, and so fun to listen to.
A few years ago Ryan took a volunteer job as cook at the Weblos scout camp. All the boys have gone with him every year to volunteer as staff. It was there M was able to show his true colors. His kindness and camaraderie with the other campers was a breath of fresh air, but more than that...they had a stage...and M began his legacy as an amazing comedic performer. He is SO funny. The audience is brought to tears by his jokes and skits, and I am brought to tears that my little boy who always wanted to make other kids laugh, is now doing it on such a big stage.
This weekend he volunteered at a band camp as a mentor. On Facebook I was able to watch my son sing and make the audience roar with laughter. The video was taken from behind and you couldn't see his face, but at the very end he turned around and had the greatest look of joy. I was never more proud of him. Not because he was good, but because he never gave up on what he wanted to do. He is finding his path, and it is all him.
Last year when M sat Ryan and I down to tell us he wanted to find a career in film, we were a bit unconvinced, and completely nervous for him. Why not become an engineer, or a dentist? But as he explained he doesn't want to be in front of the camera, but rather behind the scenes editing film, our hearts began to soften to the idea. M has no problem letting others take the limelight. If he is part of the smile in any way...he is happy. This year he began taking a film class and he is in love. He spends his breaks editing film, he finished his first project weeks before it was due, (and if you know my procrastinator M, then you know what a big deal that is.) Ryan and I both know that making a living at something you love to do is best. Ryan loved being a baker, and later working with other bakers selling them supplies and helping them run product...I know he wants the same thing for his boys.
I can't tell you that M won't change his mind. But I can tell you that I see him in the future finding ways to make other people smile. If he does anything in life...it will be that. Whether he is working with film, being a teacher, a plumber, or a rocket scientist.
He is still the same soft hearted little boy, but these days he glows with happiness. He walks around the house humming jazz tunes and has the biggest, best smile. Both his first and second grade teachers told me that they thought he was going to be an amazing father when he grew up. What a peculiar thing to say about such a young boy, but looking back, it makes perfect sense.
He IS going to be an amazing husband and father one day. My greatest prayer is that he finds someone with a heart as big as his...and more than anything...someone that will laugh at his jokes, and make him feel like the star that he is.
I am so proud of the man he has become. 17 and a half is a pretty big number...being in his Senior year is a pretty big deal. His future isn't written out, but all I see ahead for him is exciting and wonderful.
I might be biased, but what else do you expect from one of his biggest fans? I say, "one of," because his father shares that title with me. Ryan always marveled at what a great kid M was. How did we get so lucky?
I suspect that M took the best traits from both of us, and mixed them up into a magic potion of happy goodness.
Watch out world.