Thursday, May 21, 2009

How to Melt My Heart Right Out of My Chest

Last night we attended the preschool graduation ceremony for Alex and my niece Lilly. It utterly amazes me how fast these kids have grown up. Because they were only born a few months apart, they were raised more like twins than as cousins. At the beginning of the school year I was concerned that their relationship would be a hindrance for each of them to make new friends. Within the first week of school, I realized how ridiculous this worry of mine was. Alex is just like his father. He does not know a stranger. At the first Parent-Teacher conference his teacher could not stop glowing as she talked about my little man. Besides the anticipated “he’s the smartest kid in the whole world” talk, her stories melted my heart. Not only did she also think that our child was a genius, his compassion for his classmates was above par for his age.

In the early weeks, he reached out to those children whom seemed “alone”. He befriended those that no one else had. Alex would wrap his skinny arm around their shoulders and say come play with us. His first table partner was a Hispanic boy who besides learning his numbers and letters was also trying to comprehend the English language. Day in and day out, Alex would help his friend. Over and over he’d emphatically pronounce his colors so that his friend sitting next to him could learn to pronounce them correctly as well. The character and integrity that Alex has built over the last nine months surpasses the level of character and integrity of many adults. Just the smile on his face changes the entire chemistry of the room.

This was evident at last night’s graduation ceremony. When I took him into the preparation room before the event, the whole class called out to him. It felt like Norm on Cheers. He made his rounds and said hi to all of his friends, stopping to ask them questions. One of the girls in his class hadn’t been feeling well the day before, so as he was passing her he stopped to ask how she was feeling.

Once on stage, he sang his heart out. At some points you could easily pick out his voice over the other 30 voices. He was a proud boy. And he has every right to be. Academically, I was never worried about him. His social adaptation astounds me.

Alex, you make your mama so proud. And those tears I shed last night, Alex's Graduation

those were tears of happiness. You add the sunshine to my days.

Congrats, little man!