Ian turns 16 today.

At 12 years old, Ian’s world was turned upside down.  His only full sibling was murdered just meters from where he was, and he was left to suffer the indignities of police interviews, a funeral, and then court.

Ian grew up quickly after that and for a while had troubles relating to his peers  (unless he was playing soccer of course) because he had lost some of his innocence.

However, since then he has done nothing but mature into the most amazing 16 year old a mother could ever ask for.  He’s smart, funny – really quite hilarious – a fantastic example for his younger siblings, and a great help for me.  He can anticipate what I need before I ask and is always the first to reach out to others.

I watched him at church today go out of his way to assist an elderly couple down the stairs and then run ahead to get the door.  As he held it for many he engaged each person in a conversation of some sort or another.  No one asked him to do that, he’s just attentive to the needs of others.

He’s as at home with adults as he is his classmates and every child who meets him is an instant fan.

It could have so easily gone the other way.  He could have become desperately embittered and an angry teenager.  So many other teens are sullen, easily agitated (by their parents at least), defiant and frankly not the nicest to be around.  All of which is completely normal and just another stage for parents to weather until it passes.

Maybe I should knock on wood when I write this, but I’m fairly confident that Ian is simply a good person with great compassion and understanding for other people.  I don’t think Stefanie’s death could have fundamentally altered his personality but maybe it forced him to mature quicker than some.

There are things in this world that I am deeply grateful for, but probably none as great as having Ian as a son.

He made this little video for Stefanie shortly after she died – he was all of 12 – I think he did a fabulous job.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRFxoskzC1c

Happy Birthday Ian

 

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