HomeOpinionBRADY: Isaac and growing up

BRADY: Isaac and growing up

I remember when he was born.  For the last 15 years, a picture has hung in our bedroom of him in my arms on the day he was born with his two brothers, ages two and four, looking on.  My hair was brown then. 

Another of my favorite pictures is of him sitting inside a blue bucket in the sand on a Florida beach.  Another priceless image is when Mom brought his brother home from Ethiopia and Isaac and his other brothers saw him for the first time.  I’ll never forget standing there and experiencing that sacred moment in the Memphis Airport as brothers looked at their new brother.  I almost took my shoes off.  That was holy ground.

We write on the wall in the upstairs hallway.  Whenever a boy has a birthday, we go upstairs with a pen and we mark their height.  You can count Isaac’s 15 measurements on that wall.  There’s the height marking, the date, and his initials (IBB).  I used to get down on my knees to measure the boys.  Then I stood to measure them.  Isaac now requires that I stand on my tiptoes.  Before it’s all over, I may need a step ladder.  He used to look up to me.  Now, I look up to him.

He’s the middle child—with two older brothers and two younger brothers.    Sure, some of those characteristics of the Middle Child Syndrome may describe him.  I’m sure he feels overlooked at times, and he’s more independent than his brothers.  He keeps us all in stiches.  If you are around Isaac very long, you’re going to laugh. 

He’s more creative than anyone in the family.  If something needs flair, give it to Isaac.  If something needs that special touch, let Isaac do it. 

When you’re a parent watching your kids grow up, time passes a lot more quickly than normal.  It seems like only yesterday that I was pulling him down the street in a little red wagon.  It was literally yesterday that he went and took his test for his learner’s permit at the Department of Transportation.  Today, we are going to run and errand, and he is going to be the driver—just him and me.  (He will have to adjust the seat back.  His legs are longer than mine) It’s surreal.  Running an errand never seemed like such a big deal but I’ll always remember this errand—not because of the specialness of the errand but because this is the first time that Isaac will drive.

I often see pictures on Facebook of growing kids, and parents give it the caption, “Time, slow down!”  I get what they are saying.  I agree.  We might feel like our kids grow up too fast.  But growing up is what it’s all about.  We expect them to grow up.

Mondays are formal days at their school.  In a day when men are throwing off ties, I love it that my boys have learned to tie a tie and that they put one on every week as they start the week out.  Some might say a tie makes them look stiff.  I say a tie makes them look like what they are becoming.  Men.

I was recently talking with someone about my kids growing up and they said, “Before you know it, they will be moving out.”  I laughed and said, “They better move out.”

Buckets on the beach yesterday.  Markings on the wall that we will never painte over.  Driving with a learner’s permit today.  Moving out of the house tomorrow.  It’s all a part of growing up.

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