Thursday, May 5, 2011

Case Study 83: "The Roars"

To God's greatest male creation thus far (also known as my nephew) on his 2nd birthday,

Let me start off by saying that because you are the first male child born into a big passionate Italian family, you will always be referred to as such.  At this point in my short life, I still don't believe that by telling children how wonderful they are, they grow up without compassion and care for others.  But hey, if things change in twenty years, let's talk about it, preferably over beers. 

I am still amazed that you exist.  I know it's been two years now, but you are still every ounce a miracle as the day that you were born, which remains to this very day, just at the right time.  I cried when you were born, half knowing that while someone else was breaking my heart, the love you brought into the world would more than make up for that. 

I didn't know I could love someone more every day, but I do.  I will likely weep the day you stop saying the following things:"Octopush", "Crayb", "Hop Hop" and "Roar," when referring to God's creatures both alive and extinct.  It rocked my world when I heard that last week, you killed it with the ladies in school by bootyshaking on the dancefloor while all the other little boys stood watching. And on Easter, when you refused to be anywhere but in my arms, I felt like the most important person in the world.  I think I've only felt like that once before, and it was while cradling a grown man after a lost sports game and far too many drinks.  Not a good look.

Some people say that watching children learn is the most remarkable thing.  While I agree, my favorite thing to watch you do is be surprised.  You bring a whole new meaning to "wonder and awe."  I've watched your jaw drop at the page of a pop-up book, and heard you exclaim "wow" on Christmas Day.  And the excitement on your face when you saw a real sea turtle after reading about them for months?  Seeing that moment will hold me over on good thoughts for more than a few weeks. 

Please remember that by being a part of this family you are entitled to three things: great hair, a fiery temper and an inescapable fate of being a nerd for one to three fourths of your time here on earth.  I pray that you channel that passion into doing good and that you understand that intellectual curiosity will lead you to a long, interesting and successful life.  If all else fails, you can always be a hair model. 

May you revere nature, love and faith above all things, because they are the most powerful and mysterious elements that exist.  May you constantly wonder and dream about them, because imagination is one of the greatest dying arts in the world today.  Same goes for respect, but in a few years I'll play you a song by Aretha, and you'll get it, because by then you'll know how to spell. 

But above all, no matter how isolated or surrounded you are by others, may you know that you are never, ever, alone.  May you never be crippled by the thoughts that you can't achieve anything that you want to, because no matter how much the world changes, anything is possible if you are open to the possibility of everything. 

Happy Birthday, littlest one.  You are love. You are loved.   

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