|Officially an adult, but for the next two years I will call him "The Missionary."|
If there is one word I could use to describe him, it would be: Unafraid.
He came into this world with his eyes wide open. The doctor exclaimed he had never seen a baby do that before! Maybe it was the lack of oxygen from the cord wrapped around his neck, but I think he was just excited to be here.
He has always been excited to be here. His lust for life is contagious to everyone around him. He is the life of the party.
I remember his first day of preschool so clearly. I picked him up on time, but he got in the car looking kind of stern. I asked him if he was okay. He said, "Mom, I've got to be tough now." I giggled to myself and said, "Oh really?" I was so proud of my tough little guy.
His first day of Kindergarten was no different. He practically ran in the building without even a second look back at us. He was so excited. School, teachers, and friends have been his greatest joy. I don't think he missed more than a day or two of elementary school. It wasn't because he loved math or English or history it was because he wanted to be with his friends.
The friend part hasn't changed. He makes friends wherever he goes. He likes going to EFY by himself to make new friends. He likes sitting on the airplane by himself to talk to strangers. He loves people. And they love him.
The math, English and history part has changed. He's had so many teachers who have become his friends and who have instilled in him a love for science, literature, film, writing, poetry, Spanish, history, art and yes, even math.
His love of music is almost an obsession. After years of piano and percussion, he will sit for hours playing the latest piece he's engrossed in. And iTunes has made a lot of money off of him. He loves it all: from rock to opera and everywhere in between.
All his life he has loved Spanish. His father and I don't speak it, but he has taken 5 years of it in school. I knew he would be going on a Spanish speaking mission. About a month ago he got his mission call and sure enough he is going to the Spain, Madrid mission. It is the place he is suppose to spend the next two years. He will love the people. He will love the food. I hope. And he will love everything about the country of Spain. I know it. Just before they made the change in age for missionaries, he was vocalizing how much he wished he could just go now! Well, someone was listening. Someone knew he wasn't afraid to serve the Lord and preach his gospel at 18 years of age. He leaves in 3 months. And I'm not afraid either. I know he will do great things and love every minute of it. I will miss him a lot, but I'm so excited to see the places he will go.
"KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!”