Thursday, June 16, 2011

Happy 10th birthday, Bryant!

Ten years ago today, at 6:36 a.m., a special gift weighing eight pounds and four ounces arrived at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing and made the world better.

My son, Bryant – my dream, my light, my ally, my partner, my sidekick – was that baby. I thank his mother for this, and the universe, and even his natural father, because I can think of nothing, truly nothing, more wonderful and beautiful and awesome in the true sense of the world than Bryant Singh Welch.

He is so strong and sweet and sensitive and smart and silly. He’s masculine and gentle and funny and brave and athletic and devoted to his family and friends. He’s surely the most likable kid on this block, if not the county or state or nation.

Maybe even the world.

My son just might be the most likable boy in the world.

I like how he grabs his little sister’s backpack, unasked, as they’re hurrying to the bus stop so she can run faster.

I like how he snuggles up next to me on the couch when we’re watching TV and reaches for my hand when we’re walking somewhere.

I like how he offers to help make dinner and grabs water for his siblings when we’re heading out together on a warm, sunny Saturday. I like how his eyes twinkle when he laughs. I like how he plays four square and Xbox to win but checks to make sure his opponents are having fun.

I like how it’s our special thing, his and mine, to feed dollars into the crane machines at Meijer and the mall while the girls go shopping, trying to snag that must-have stuffed animal even though we already have hundreds.

It’s never a waste, really. I always get much more than my money’s worth.

I like how charming and reliable and fair he is. I like how happy and easy-going he seems to be and how many times I have to answer the door because all the boys in the neighborhood want to play with him. I like how his teachers always sing his praises at parent-teacher conferences. I like how if I tell him to be back in an hour, he’s sure to reappear in 57 minutes every time.

I like how much better our lives are because Bryant’s here.

According to 18th Century German poet and philosopher Friedrich von Schiller, “It is not flesh and blood, but heart which makes us fathers and sons.”

I couldn’t agree more.

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