Stylized line drawing of mark playing the flute

My son, the mystery

My youngest son, the 9 year old, is a strange little creature.

I like to joke that he is every recessive gene we have, funneled into one person.

He’s a natural athlete. He’s constantly jumping off things or throwing himself to the ground. He runs and plays baseball. He loves team sports.

He’s a huge extrovert. He hates being alone and loves to talk to people. He has a million friends that he hangs out with. While our other kids spend as much time as possible reading by themselves, he’s off playing with as many people as he can.

He’s also a huge slob and a disorganized mess. He can’t find things that are right in front of his face. He’s the slowest person on earth. He takes forever to eat or to get ready to go. We spend so much of our lives waiting for him.

Watching movies or TV shows with him is a nightmare. He asks constant questions or misses plot points and has to be filled in.

He has a mind boggling stubborn streak. When he was in preschool, he would argue about what color something was. He’ll tell you you’re driving the wrong way when he doesn’t even know the destination.

But that stubbornness translates into an amazing drive to push himself. I love seeing him sprint for the finish line at the end of a race, his face red, his teeth gritted with pain. He’s been knocked down and still finished in the top 20 with dual bloody knees.

He can be so dense in some ways but he’s incredibly perceptive when it comes to people. The way he reads people and understands social situations is uncanny.

He is the most affectionate person I’ve ever known. He is constantly hugging and kissing on us. Sometimes, I’ll be walking through the room and he’ll reach out and grab my arm. β€œDad! I love you!”, usually followed by a kiss.

He is pure love. We didn’t expect him but I can’t imagine a world without him.