son is smart. Brilliant. A genius.
Now that you’re done rolling
your eyes, let me explain. I’m not speaking of the 2 + 2 = 4 kind of
smart (though Carson does have his moments), I mean the wisdom that
pops from the mouths of our children, unsolicited and unannounced. The
wisdom that makes us grownups feel the need to . . . grow up.
It all started at a basketball
game. The winter holidays were neatly tucked away until next year. No
more tinsel on the carpet or massive meals that sent us napping. Our
checkbook was taking a much needed breather as we gave our New Year’s
resolutions a valiant shot at success.
As native Nebraskans (you can
take the Cornhusker out of the state but never the state out of the
Cornhusker), my husband, Mark, liked to take thirteen-year-old Carson
to any of the Nebraska basketball games that came within free-throw
distance of the Kansas City area where we lived. On this particular
evening, Nebraska was visiting the University of Kansas in nearby
When Mark and Carson headed for
the game, Carson made good use of his holiday loot. His newest CD
filled the car with a beat worthy of any pregame warm-up. He wore his
Nebraska jacket and a pair of jeans that were new enough to still fit
his sprouting frame. His athletic shoes were guaranteed to make him
jump as high and run as fast as any NBA player. His red T-shirt was
crisp (as T-shirts go) and as yet unfaded from a zillion washings. A
baseball hat made hair combing as outdated as hair tonic.
The NU-KU game was the epitome
of college basketball with the crowd properly loud, the cheerleaders
properly agile, and the food properly devoid of vitamins. “Go Big Red”
ricocheted against “Go Jayhawks.” Fast-moving shoes squeaked against
the varnished floor. The dribbled ball echoed amid claps and shouts.
Odd how a quiet moment
can cut through the noise. Rise above it. A moment unplanned but
forever remembered . . .
After a proper refueling with
nachos and Coke at halftime, Carson pulled out his wallet.
Mark glanced over. “Isn’t that
my old wallet?”
Carson nodded. “You got a new
one for Christmas. I took your old one. Is that okay?”
shrugged and watched as
Carson put his ticket stub in the wallet.
do you have in there?”
Mark asked. “Lots of money?”
Carson spread the billfold. The
only contents were ticket stubs from sporting events they had attended
“You’ve kept all those stubs?
You put them in my old wallet?”
“They help me remember. And I
like having your old billfold better than any present I got for
“Because it was yours.”
Forget the team
jackets, the CDs, the fancy athletic shoes . . .
Our son is smart. Brilliant. A
And oh, such a blessing.
“Jesus said, ‘Let the little
children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven
belongs to such as these’” (Matt. 19:14 NIV).