Friday, April 6

Taking the Long View

Tonight my nephew Jacob earned his yellow belt in American Freestyle Karate. We are very proud of him. He has worked hard and enjoys the classes (despite that look on his face...he's a goof, but he gets it honestly).
He's such a great young man - I am loving watching him grow up.

I am very fortunate to be the aunt of 4 fantastic people.

Observing the years passing reminds me of watching a garden mature. You plant these scraggly shrubs and sticks with a few leaves...and then as the years pass you get to see them explode! I remember the beginning of the lush paradise that is our back yard. When it began it resembled a BMX dirt bike track. We had replaced the septic field and that had meant the destruction of the entire center of our yard. And since we live in Central Virginia...that means the result is red mud. I couldn't really envision the future - but Mom could.

She took this as an opportunity. She had the vision - the rest of us provided manual labor. She saw a pond...Dad (with a little help...) (but without power equipment) dug a pond. She saw a wonderful center garden and laid it out with a garden hose. I saw a big amoeba shape...she had the vision to see further. When she got 3 crepe myrtles and a tulip-like bush...they looked dead.

Now the crepe myrtles are nearly 20 feet tall, the tulip magnolia is a wonder to behold, the pond looks like it has been there for generations and the wild dogwoods survived transplant and are currently in bloom.

Maybe it takes motherhood to have so much vision. Raising 5 kids must have helped her embrace the long-term results and ignore the short-term frustrations.

My nephew Jack is now a Junior in high school. I remember when he had his first karate graduation. Heck, I even remember his very first karate lesson! And signing the 3 year contract that made me financially responsible! But when he received his black belt about 2 years later - it was worth it. And I know that experience helped form the outstanding young man that he is today. 

So...I look forward to watching Jack and Jacob and Taylor and Braeden grow and mature. Just like I could not envision that wasteland of a back yard becoming what it is now - I look forward to being surprised at what a little hard work and a lot of patience can do with my four favorites.

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