About two years ago this little guy, Baxter, came into our family. Attentive and caring, he filled some holes and brought companionship. As you see him here he is keeping an eye on the room but is especially attentive to what his buddy is doing in the chair in the background. He sticks close to that guy, a truly faithful friend. Today we celebrate that guy, our first-born, Jonathan, on his birthday and I can't help but look back thirty-four years to remember what a joy it was to welcome him into our lives on that warm summer day. All was new as we headed to the hospital, wondering how our lives would change. We didn't know if we had a boy or a girl. We didn't know anything about parenting. We just knew we were eager to start and to trust that this child was created by God, for us.
And he certainly was. We were delighted! As a curious, happy, smart little guy who loved to learn, he became interested in a subject, studied it, memorized its parts, drew pictures and made little books until he moved on to something else. Road construction trucks, when he was two, led to rocks, flowers, birds, the stars, dinosaurs. Every book in the library on the topic was devoured so more and more informations could be acquired for this curious and hungry-for-information mind. There were times when he asked that I read the bird identification book as his nighttime story! He was so eager to learn and his mind was sharp for categorizing and ordering information.
We provided every opportunity for him to learn more about his current interest. If that meant going to Chicago to walk through the Museum of Natural History so he could experience a real dinosaur or pangolin, that is what we did! We trekked out star gazing at the Palisades-Dows Observatory so he could see first hand the constellations he had memorized, drawn and read about. Hikes through the woods gave him a view of flowers that enabled him to connect what he was seeing in books with real flowers peeking through the leaves in early spring. All this curiosity and amazing ability to keep statistics in his brain led him to attach to sports cards full of opportunity to tuck information into his brain and keep it there. How many times were we wowed by an interesting fact that was pulled out at just the right moment?
We homeschooled for several years and then enrolled him in a small school nearby. He loved school and the friends he found there. Soccer and basketball allowed us to travel to tournaments. Who will ever forget his soft touch on amazingly accurate three point shots from the corner?
Off he went to college where new adventures and some great friendships enriched his life. After graduation he was offered a job in a field where he continues to work today. As a futures trader in a downtown Minneapolis office, he has found his niche. Humble and realistic, he downplays his talent, but being in the business for over ten years, he has done well. We are truly proud of him and the way he has found his way.
A great sense of humor, a sensitive heart, a curious mind, a deep thinker and a good guy, we love him and remain so thankful that he was the one God formed for our family. We have grown and been blessed by having him as our fabulous first-born.
Oh yes, we have a very soft spot in our hearts for Jonathan's co-hort, companion, room-mate and buddy, Baxter. He has given us all reason to laugh, play, go for walks and know that Jonathan will be well looked after in the days to come.