Our oldest son. He’s nine, skinny and tall. His nose in a book most of the day, with a green apple in his hand. He gives us daily quizzes on our ability to translate Dragonese, even though he’s the only one who’s read the How to Train a Dragon series (we’re actually getting better because he’s persistent). In a couple of weeks he’s going to play basketball for the first time.
Photos like this one make my heart swell. I love the way Nolan says “Aidan.” Love the way Sean imitates him. Love the way he worries about his brothers getting hurt. Tonight, when the bigs and I watched “The Goblet of Fire,” he warned Sean when a scary scene was coming and covered his eyes for him.
Aidan and Sean are DJs every third Saturday at our local public radio station, KZMU. During the autumn fund drive, DJs are expected to collect pledges from family and friends. There are few things I dislike more than asking people for money, even when it is for something I believe in like public radio. I honestly considered quitting the show to avoid flashback of going door-to-door to sell Campfire Girl candy.
Instead, Aidan stood up last Sunday during announcements at church and told our little congregation about our community radio and his gig called “Shine Time.” He let people know he’d have pledge forms available during the coffee hour if they wanted to donate “five bucks or whatever” which got a laugh.
All of our boys’ adopted grandmothers (90% of our parish is over 70) took out their checkbooks right then (does anyone under 70 still carry a checkbook?). I have a habit of being overly critical of our church community---wishing it were simultaneously more like the Catholic parish of my childhood and more like the Zen-Unitarian parish of my imagination. Their kindness to Aidan humbled me and woke me up to what our parish actually is---a group of individuals who gather consistently to share a bit of their faith journey, to sing and pray together, to work for more peace and justice, and to forge a bit of community as a respite from our fast-paced culture. I’m grateful to Aidan for having opened my eyes once again to how good we have it here.
Even though he was born in Oregon, Aidan is adamant that our current town is “the only home I’ve ever known” and he doesn’t like any discussions about leaving. We’re on year seven here, the longest Brian and I have lived anywhere since we were 18. I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m grateful to have Aidan’s perspective to help us all appreciate the here and now.