Monday, July 5, 2010
Turning 20 Today! Oh My! Where Did The Time Go?
From the day you were first born, we knew you were going to be something special. That day was like a lot of summer days hot and humid, but they were calling for terrible t-storms. Well they came and then some. In fact, a mini tornado came through Sparks Valley that day at almost the exact time that you were born, shearing off the tops of 70 year old pine trees that lined our driveway, tossing them about like they were tinker toys.
Luckily the old farmhouse we lived in escaped damage. We were cleaning up down trees for weeks after that storm. I don't think you were too happy on your homecoming though as you can see, you were howling loudly as your big brother Sean, got to hold you for the first time. God, he loved you then and still does very much so now. For awhile he got to be the big brother. The one who protected you.
At one you learned to walk at the same time you learned to play baseball. You would put the ball on the tee, hit it with the bat and most times, go crawling off after it, only to come back and do it again...until the day you forgot, and walked, toddling after the ball you just hit. You took your first steps playing a game you have come to love.
As you grew, so did your passions. You loved to go fishing. You would even bait the hook yourself as I refused to do it for you. You would pester me or dad to take you to the Gunpowder or anywhere there was water to fish. I remember a boyscout summer camp that you attended and you received your merit badge for fishing. Mr. Wetzleberger said you not only caught the one fish as it was required, but you caught 37, the most that had ever been caught for a merit badge.
As you grew so did our family. Your little brother Ian was born. Now you had a big brother and a little brother...while you were the middle child, you never acted like one...well I take that back, you did at times. But at other times you acted like the older brother, protecting your 2 brothers, Sean and Ian.
You were my daredevil child. I'd find you climbing the tree in the backyard, hanging there by the rope that we had the baseball hanging from. You'd climb the swingset we had to the very top. The piles of plowed snow higher than the fence. You did some pretty crazy things. In second grade you broke your leg. Not just a simple break, no, but a major one. Where we lived we had a dusting, well 3" of snow, and you were excited. You stayed out sledding all day til almost dark. That's when I went to call you. You had just gone down the hill again and that's when it happened. You were so brave that day. Explaining to the doctors how you broke your leg. They couldn't figure it out as the area where the hospital was, there was barely a dusting. You had that cast on your leg for 10 weeks.
That spring you were ready for baseball again. You lived, ate and slept baseball. You were always out in the yard, hitting the ball, having a catch with the bounceback or your dad. Your dad was able to coach your team, just as his dad had done with him.
We did cubscouts since you were in first grade. It was right up your alley. Camping, hiking, fishing, all the things that boys love to do. We even managed to win your dens 1st place trophy in the Pinewood derby and 2nd overall in the pack. Of course that was your last year. It took us 5 years to get it right!
You continued to play baseball. That was the one constant in your life. The year you were 11, you made the travel team made up of 12 yr olds...only 11 yr old on the team. Mr. Chris coached you well expanding on your skills, encouraging, supporting and guiding you.
You became a great catcher playing first for your father, then later in travel and down the road in high school. In your junior year, it was amazing that you got named as the only junior to the all county team. Dad and I were very proud of you. Too bad that you hurt your shoulder in your senior year of high school. We would have loved to watched you play in college but it wasn't meant to be.
As you grew so did your role of protector for your brothers. You would never let anyone say a unkind word about your brother, Sean. At times almost coming to blows. You grew into his protector.
You finally made Eagle Scout with days to spare. Your father and I were very proud of your accomplishment. To stay in scouts from 1st grade through 12th and to finish when less than 2% do, that is a testament to your strength, dedication and determination.
You have since graduated high school and have gone on to college. In the fall you will be in your third year of college and most days we can find you either out in the backyard sunbathing, playing video games and watching movies, texting or working but mostly texting and sometimes texting while working! Oh or chasing the many girls that are your friends. So son, as we celebrate on your 20th birthday, and you are off watching the Hereford parade and fireworks, maybe we'll even save you a piece of birthday cake. Happy Birthday Josh!