Some people are so remarkable that they almost fade into the background. Stefan will never ask for anything or call attention to himself. Rather, his goodness is reflected in the happiness of the people around him.
As a little boy with an exceptionally quick mind, Stefan learned early to keep his hand down, to not always offer an answer, to refrain from arguing a question. It was an important skill to master, but sometimes I worry that Stefan stays quiet too often.
Upon meeting him, people often say– “He’s so incredible; he must have just come that way.” And yes, he did come with incredible gifts, but he works hard at everything he does and perhaps his most amazing trait is his determination to improve himself.
Last summer at a pool party, in a typical silly stunt, an adult snuck up behind fully-dressed Stefan and pushed him in. In a single move, Stefan leapt out of the water and pulled the offender in with him. A bit sheepishly he swam to the edge, grabbed a towel and we left shortly after.
As we were driving, Stefan muttered and complained, “I shouldn’t have gotten mad; I shouldn’t have pulled him in.”
“It’s OK,” I replied, “we all have a certain amount of pride and when someone invades our personal space we get upset.”
Stefan was silent for a moment before replying, “Does that mean I’m proud? Because I’ve really been working on conquering my pride.”
And yes, that’s exactly who Stefan is. I imagine he has a journal full of goals– “Be patient with Mary.” “Compliment Mom every day.” “Memorize the Bible.”
I’m confident he can do anything.
Happy Birthday darling boy. Don’t hesitate to raise your hand; I’ll always want to hear your answers.