We have two sons, born almost eight years apart. There’s a reason for that. The first one was such a tornado that we didn’t think we could manage another – and stay sane. But we did manage the two.
He was (and still is) a natural in front on the camera. Mugged for it, in fact – he loved having his picture taken.
Andrew also loves sports, but he’s more selective about it. He loved playing basketball, and he did play in high school, but he didn’t get his growth spurt until after he graduated. He was a quiet and extraordinarily shy child.
He would see a camera and become hysterical. We have countless pictures of Andrew crying at having his picture taken. We have countless pictures of the two of them together – Travis mugging for the camera and Andrew crying or hiding his face. Same gene pool; go figure.
Travis is our salesman. Put him in a roomful of strangers and he’ll know most of them within 30 minutes. He is large and in charge, and you always knew when Travis was around. In the scholarship department, well, let’s say Travis was smart about the things he wanted to be smart about. We read to him as a child, oh, did we read to him; both of his parents loved to read and we just assumed he would love books, too. Winnie the Pooh. Chronicles of Narnia. Fairy tales. His idea of a good book: listening to the audio tapes of Superman, Batman and Justice League of America stories. Preferably with others around – being solitary was not his idea of a good time.
Andrew loved having friends, but he went in for more solitary pursuits as well. He rode the Harry Potter book craze. He took up the clarinet – a surprise, since no one else in the immediate family played an instrument. He even played for the school band through high school. In his sophomore year, he came home from school and totally shocked us with the announcement that he’d like to go to Australia for three weeks with the People to People program – three weeks, thousands of miles away, with kids he had never met before. And he followed through on what he had to do and went. He went snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef, slept outside on a ranch to wake up to frost covering his face (it was winter there), lived for three days with a family in Sydney and went to school with one of their kids. He came back a different, far more confident young man, and loved the program so much he went to Europe the following summer.
They are eight years apart, and very different in so many ways. And yet they have remained close. As a child Andrew adored his older brother; Travis was always thrilled to have another kid in the family. When Travis got married, Andrew was his best man. Travis’s first child is named Cameron Andrew (I say first child because the second is due in May).
Eight years difference in age. They live 1,500 miles apart. Different outlooks, personalities, lines of work. But they’re still wonderfully close.
I’m proud of both of them. We worried over both; we still do. But they turned into pretty cool adults. Last night, Andrew braved the Thanksgiving airport madness and flew home. We have them both together, along with Stephanie and my grandson.
Two fine young men. Two brothers. Two sons I give thanks to God for giving us.
This post is part of Bonnie Gray’s blog carnival on faith over at Faith Barista. Today is all about Thanksgiving; to see more posts, head on over there.