Monday, August 15, 2011

That Other Kid....

It's about time I talked about "That Other Kid" who shares our home.  In truth, I've been pondering what to write about him for a while now.  All the while, I've been feeling guilty for having taken so long to bring him into the picture.  His name is Connor.  He's our "first born" and Nathan's older brother. 

I have no lack of things to say about him.  He's a great kid.  He's charming, funny, bright, witty, and crass (my kid.....what do you expect?!?!).  He's also quite shy.  Part of my delay in writing about him came from knowing that my doing so wouldn't sit comfortably.  He takes some getting to know and likes it that way.  As far as we're concerned, he's allowed.  Amanda and I teach him the ways of following the Lord, doing his absolute best, making the most of what he has, and living honorably.  Beyond that, we just want Connor to be Connor. 

Being Connor isn't easy.  Living with two "neuro non-typicals" requires him to adjust, understand, and flex in ways that are very demanding for his age.  He does so remarkably well.  He's a damned good boy.  I'm proud.  He's growing into a fine man, and a real friend.  I'm not sure how we've pulled it off.  Must be his mother.

Connor and Nathan are brothers, in every sense of the concept.  They bicker, wrestle, and bait each other until we're ready to lock them both in small boxes for extended periods.  They also love each other insanely. Neither will admit it, but when one is absent, the other appears more than a bit "lost".  Connor sets the tone for this.  The depth of his character stuns me at times.  In his honor, I'm going to share a few things that will make him squirm, but that I believe describe him better than my own thoughts ever could.

I realized he "gets it" about 3 years ago.  We went to work with a ministry feeding homeless folk under an overpass.  Upon observing "our clients", Nathan remarked: "you know dad.....I could be homeless like this some day."  Before I could answer him, Connor matter of factly stated: "Not as long as I'm alive Nathan.  You'll never be homeless as long as I have a place to live."  It's a good thing that nothing else needed saying.  I was struck speechless.  He wasn't just saying something to make his brother feel better.  He laid down his word.  He laid his honor on the line like a man. 

Another instance was communicated to me by a friend at church.  The boys had taken a road trip 100 miles away with the youth group for a concert.  After the concert they ate at McDonald's.  My friend went to check on Nathan to see if he needed help with his order, or getting his food.  Connor had already found them a table, ordered Nathans food and was waiting to deliver it to their table.  "There was nothing left for me to do.  Connor had taken care of everything."

They're brothers and shutter to confess their love for each other.  We noticed that when they're left alone, Nathan gets his favorite foods prepared for him.  He's always well fed and happy when we call to check in.  In truth, I think they get along better when we're not there to referee.

That other kid is pretty amazing.  We think we'll keep him too.


  1. you did a GREAT job with your Connor post! That kid is one of a kind! It has everything to do with Amanda AND You!

  2. Thanks. I love that kid more than life itself.

  3. I read this right after you posted, and loved it it now!