This is just one of the reasons I love my oldest son, Michael.
Last week, tired of being snowed in and needing to burn off a little energy, I took the children to Chuck E. Cheese. It was noisy, hectic, and we won’t be doing it again. But oh, it was worth it for this.
That’s Michael, my 13-year-old. And next to him is his ball-crazy little brother, Matthew. And see that boy next to him? Do you know who he is?
Yeah, neither do I.
And neither did Michael.
But when that little guy asked to share his game, Michael said yes.
And when that little boy asked Michael to play another game with him, Michael said yes.
And when that little boy used up all but one of the tokens I had given Michael on one thing or another AND took all the tickets Michael earned at skee ball AND asked Michael for one more token so he could play a game after we left, Michael said yes.
And in these moments, I feel such a kinship with the Blessed Mother, who “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” I hold them close, currency against those other moments when the angry rages of adolescence make me understand why the mothers of so many species eat their young. And in this tumultuous period of life where he hovers between childhood and adulthood and frustrates both me and himself in so many ways, I see the good fruit ripening.
The strength of a child deeply rooted in a loving home.
The sturdiness of a young man reaching up towards the Son.
The salt and light of tears and grace poured out in 13 years of prayer and nurture.
The constant life cycle of stumbling, repentance, forgiveness, not just on my part, but on his as well.
And I think back to that tiny seed, planted at Baptism, now coming to fruition as my baby becomes a young man, and I ponder these things is my heart:
How small beginnings lead to mighty deeds.
How investments of time lead to eternal dividends.
And mostly, how wrong those people were who claimed that love would spoil. For what does love ever lead to but more love?