Nineteen years ago today, my son was born.
That's him, top center, with his Relay for Life team, organized by the buddy to the right of him. Down in front, the goofy kid with the red shirt is Joe. Jim and Joe met in preschool at age 4 and a half. They have been best pals ever since.
One of the proudest moments of his life was earning this blue jacket. He became a member of the SWAT team (Special Winning Attitude Team), and it meant that he got to help the teachers at martial arts classes, because he was patient, and dedicated, and trustworthy. Next to him is one of the village of moms he has grown up with, Miss Liz. She and her husband Rocco own and run Ambrose Academy of Wing Chun Do, in Livonia, a place I have trusted my son to for the last eight years.
This year, after he earned his green belt in the adult program (he was a black belt in the kids' program), he applied to and enrolled in the Instructor in Training (IIT) program in Wing Chun Do. The cost for the entire program is the same as one semester at a state college...but this is so much more. Sibok Rocco gets him to think. About teaching, about training, about living life well. I'm very proud of him, and I hope and suspect he is doing this because it calls to him. What better motivation?
This is my handsome young man:
Three inches taller, and he'll need to duck going through doorways!
Happy birthday, Jimba! I love you.