So the other day, THIS happened. That’s my eleven year old with his very first fish ever.
I’m pretty sure the smile on his face says it all. This kiddo has been in our family since he was not quite eight years old. He came to us with an English vocabulary of about three words, a slight stutter, and a truly incredible and resilient spirit that continues to astound me. (This boy has been through some STUFF, people.) He bounded into his new American life with the enthusiasm of a hyperactive Labrador puppy. And–with a leetle bit of the same galumphing destructiveness.
This is a kid who always thinks he can improve something’s operating capacity by taking it apart. (At this point, he is rarely correct, but one day this kid is going to channel all this budding mechanical ability into inventing something spectacular–and buy his very tired, financially destitute mom a private island.) He has an immense capacity for affection–and for philosophically shrugging off the little–and not so little–disasters that tend to occur in his general vicinity on a regular basis.
Now, imagine that you are an eighteen year old guy who’s never shared a room in his life because he was blessed with two sisters. And imagine that suddenly, this happy-go-lucky 7 year old dude is your non-English speaking roomie.
But you know what? Somehow or other, they made it work. Sure there were some complaints about somebody’s stinky feet in broken English (which resulted in the offender’s socks being tucked under the complainer’s pillow). There were some very unappreciated and highly protested nicknames. A particular favorite stuffed animal was put in various highly visible but short-kid-inaccessible spots on a daily basis.
And slowly, two very different guys became brothers. And the other day, big brother clapped a goofy hat and some sunglasses on an overexcited eleven year old, doused him liberally with bug spray and took his little brother fishing for the very first time in his whole life. Just because. And when the kid caught a fish, there was brotherly celebrating and back-slapping and photos snapped on a phone and sent to everybody.
It’s a small thing, I know. An ordinary thing. But it sure made that kid in the picture grin.
Made me grin a little, too.