Ethan, my 17-year-old:
- Is passionate about learning - as long as it's something he's curious about. It doesn't matter how bad his mood may be, all I have to do to turn it around is ask a question about the time and/or space, like "How did they figure out the speed of light anyway?" Ethan's face lights up as he tells me all about what "we" have discovered about the universe so far. I love it when he teaches me things!
In recent weeks, he's talked of becoming an astrophysicist, which I think is a perfect fit for him except for the 8 years of college. (He only tolerates school.)
"Would they call me 'doctor'?" he asked. "Dr. Ethan?"
"Well, probably they'd call you Dr. O," I said. "That would be pretty cool. I'd say, 'Have you met my son, Dr. O? Actually, he really is a rocket scientist. Did I mention he has a PhD?'"
Ethan beamed, and so did I.
- Is a talented musician. Did I ever tell you he's the center snare on his high school drum line? Yes, I think I might have mentioned it once or twice. Seriously, he's worked very hard to perfect his skills, and I am one proud mama.
|After a drum line performance - Ethan volunteered for the picture!|
- Has a delightful sense of humor. He can always make me laugh, especially when I need it most.
- Is content with a little. We have a tight budget, and he understands that. He doesn't ask for the expensive clothing brands, and he's thankful for everything I buy him. He says things like, "I don't really need three pairs of jeans. One would be plenty."
- Looks out for me. Although he grumbles about helping with chores, he takes care of me in the ways that matter. More on that in a moment.
- Loves God with all her heart. It excites me to see a depth in her relationship with God that I didn't find until my thirties.
- Prays with faith. She trusts the Lord. Period.
- Loves to learn. She's a thinker, and I'm amazed at the things she knows.
- Laughs a lot. I know just how to make her laugh, even when she's too tired to open her eyes in the morning. For example, when I tried to take her breakfast order the other morning, her only answer was a sonorous fart. "What was that your bum said?" I asked, tickling her ribs. "I didn't catch that. Was it peanut butter toast?"
"Mama!" she groaned. But she couldn't help but giggle.
She makes me feel funny, and that's a good thing because I tend to be way too serious.
- Is one strong little girl. I've watched her deal with the heartache of divorce with grace, faith, and strength. She is content with her circumstances. She accepts what she can't change, and she finds joy everywhere. I want to be like her when I grow up.
So Allyson single-handedly mixed up the ingredients and formed the cheesy sausage balls while I simultaneously took pictures of her progress and worked on a dinner that took so long that I had to admit defeat and take the kids to Subway (at 8 p.m. on a school night!). When we returned, Allyson cheerfully made the last batch of sausage balls while I finished what was now tomorrow's dinner and tried to clean up after the explosion in my kitchen. The wonder of it was that I didn't stress over the blobs of raw sausage and cheese that were ground into the floor and stuck to the "stainless" steel refrigerator door. No, I saw this time as the treasure that it was. I was so proud of my girl!