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Our eldest son, Jude, turns 7 this month, so we’ll be heading off to his favorite place in the world: his grandparents’ lake house in Mandeville. He loves visiting “Yaya” and “Poppy” and riding Power Wheels around the property with his cousins and little brother, Luke. I still can’t believe how much Jude has grown. It seems like just yesterday that Jude was crawling around on the floor. Now he plays soccer and basketball, and he’s starting to pick up baseball. He’s also beginning to read, especially books about Pokemon. He has the picture books and trading cards and loves to watch the show. I try to get into it, but it’s a complicated and confusing world. I don’t know how he memorized the names of all those creatures. I remember when he could only say a handful of words. Time really does fly. Parenting is a strange job; you can do it for years yet still feel utterly new at it. Thankfully, both Jude and Luke have made it (relatively) easy on us. As a father, it’s been incredible to watch them grow, and I recognize parts of myself in each of their personalities. “When Jude was just a baby, I’d look into his tiny face and try to picture the man he would become.” A GROWING BOY WITH A BIG HEART PROOF THAT EMPATHY AND KINDNESS START AT A YOUNG AGE
him. My wife has quite the laugh when she finds the two of us completely absorbed in a cartoon. If you ask me, our son just has good taste in television. When Jude was just a baby, I’d look into his tiny face and try to picture the man he would become. He had very boyish features, and his eyes struck me as being incredibly kind. Now those features are starting to take shape, and I’m proud to say the kindness is still there. He’s becoming a big boy with a big heart. First and foremost, Jude is a great older brother to Luke. He has really taken his little brother under his wing in a supportive way. Jude has always had a deep wellspring of empathy that extends even beyond his own family. Whenever another kid gets hurt on the playground at school, Jude is always the one to walk them to the nurse’s office. Jude, I can’t wait to see the man you grow up to be. You’re already so honest and hardworking. Hold on to that kind, loving heart of yours, and you’ll go far. I’m so proud of who you’ve already become.
Jude and I definitely share the same capacity to get laser-focused on whatever grabs our interest. Sometimes, he’ll be watching a kid’s show, and if the plot is good enough, I’ll get sucked in right alongside
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