Seven years ago, I met this incredible guy.
He is Josiah Israel, and he is my 2nd of 8 nephews. As most nephews are, he is one of a kind. My sister found out she was pregnant only a few weeks after her husband deployed to Iraq. At the time, the Army was only deploying people for 6 months, so we all expected he'd be back in time for the birth. Not so.
They extended his deployment to a year, but he was able to work out his mid-tour break to be when Josiah was due. I took 3 weeks of leave at the same time, so I could go help out with my sister's first born, Judah.
|Judah's first snowman, Dec 2003|
Those 3 weeks were some of the most precious times with these little guys. I mean, I love love love all my nie-neps, but Josiah was the only one for whom I was in town for his birth. I don't know if I should, but I have a special bond with him, and I'm very proud of him.
From almost the minute he was born, he looked around, saw his older brother and was determined to catch up. He was such a serious looking baby, we were all so relieved when he started to smile! He started walking at 8 months, taught himself to read at age 4 and now in 1st grade he is very bored (but a great student, nonetheless)! He has a great sense of humor, is a chess master and loves to dance (robot style)!
|Teaching Uncle John how to play chess|
But then part of me doesn't want him to get any older. I want to freeze him in time for his innocence, curiosity and sincerity.
I guess if he does have to get older, my hope is that he stays the strong and sensitive, sweet and silly, loyal brother and cousin, doting nephew and grandson, independent, talented and perfect Josiah that he is today.
Happy Birthday, one day late, buddy. I love you!