Monday, March 13, 2017

1, 2, 3 for Josh!

Many families have them, the one child who has no issues, who has no complaints, who does everything well and is mature and likable.  Sometimes, these kids get lost in the shuffle of larger families that include special needs.  I try often to make sure this doesn't happen with Josh, but I always worry that his self-sufficiency and easy going presence means he doesn't have enough opportunities to shine.  Boy, did he quietly make that possible this weekend!

Lacking true athletic prowess but enjoying physical activity, Joshua decided to play basketball again this season.  Much to our surprise, he showed a fair amount of improvement over last year! We all know he will always be one who has less playing time, and quite honestly it is his softer less aggressive nature that kills him on the court.  He realizes this and sees no reason to change, nor do we see a reason to push that since he is happy enough, so he cheerfully attends practices and games, enjoying the camaraderie and the work out, and he keeps his expectations low.  This remarkable quality of his has allowed him to truly enjoy playing this season, and to respond to his teammates with genuine encouragement.  His team was in its end of the season tournament, and was in the championship game Saturday!

Only his second season, Josh had great coaching and definitely improved his passing, dribbling, and placement on the court.  He didn't have many rebounds and perhaps only 4 baskets or so all season, but his improvement was obvious, and next year will bring more opportunity for growth.  How much it says about his character, that he fully intends to play every year, regardless of skill level, and not let that get in the way of learning a sport he enjoys!  VERY proud of this young man for that incredible attitude!!

Surprise!  They received 2nd place medals for the season, and 3rd place ribbons for the tournament.  

But wait...there's more!

Sunday afternoon Josh had a shooting competition for his club, which he thoroughly enjoys and has steadily improved at as well.  He has been awarded patches and a couple of 2nd and 3rd place trophies for team shooting, and is working his way progressively through the program.  Here he is, ready for competition.


He did it!  As he pointed out, this is the first time in his life that he has won first place in anything.  He has participated in several activities through the years including basketball, art, music, volleyball, photography, bowling, and soccer as well as shooting, and finally his steadfast commitment to gradual improvement paid off!

I have tears in my eyes even as I type this, because this son of ours is so special, has such a kind heart, and has humbled himself over and over again as he ventured into new activities where he was definitely not a natural.  He did it for all the right reasons, the ones we tell kids to participate in things for, but often lose sight of.  Josh never did, he has enjoyed everything he has done despite being less than stellar at it.  He has set his ego aside each and every time, been a positive role model for his team, a hard worker and an example of never giving up.  He has learned that delayed gratification actually works, that time dedicated to learning something can pay off...and sometimes it never does in worldly accolades but can still be enjoyed.

Unassuming, he doesn't see his gifts as much as he might.  His giftedness is subtle and general, he has no specific area in which he soars, but has quietly worked at a higher grade level for years with no real thought to it.  He is currently enrolled in College Algebra and is already halfway through the course in five weeks time, and is also doing high school geometry having already completed Algebra 1 and Algebra 2.  I am in a bit of a conundrum as I try to craft his high school plan as he moves on from 8th grade, because as far as Literature, History, US Government, and Math goes, he is already 2-3 years ahead.  He never mentions it, never gives it a thought actually.   

So today, we celebrate Joshua...who is an overcomer in all kinds of ways!!  You are seen, my dearest son, you are beloved, you are honestly an example to me in so many ways and I am proudest of your heart!!


Lea said...

It sounds like he really soars academically. Impressive!! Congrats Josh!!

Anonymous said...

Josh, you are certainly an amazing young man in many ways...your heart being the most important. Congratulations on being a young man with commitment and fortitude and determination to do your best. You are developing skills and character that will continue to build towards your future. What an all-around great guy!
Nancy B in Iowa