We're in Maryland, visiting my youngest son, his wife and son. So I am over-dosing on my Grandma Fixx--hugs, teenaged laughter and a kiss or two. Ryan is fourteen, an honors student, first chair trumpet and athlete. By special permission, he's taking Algebra II, Pre-Calculus and Math for Physics this year as a ninth grader. The kid loves math.
English has never been a topic he loves, even though he's been in honors Language Arts the past couple years. Then he moved onto senior high and got a different teacher. "My new English teacher inspires me, Grandma. He has a way about him that makes you work extra hard. Want to read a paper I wrote about you?" He flashed me his shy smile as he handed me a neatly printed three-page paper.
"Gee, I rated three pages?"
"Oh, listen to this," I teased. "Mr. A-Man."
I confess to getting misty-eyed as I read his paper. He jumped verb tense a time or two within a paragraph, but the material was well organized and presented. Some of it was fictional. Some true to life. He wrote about his "amazing grandma who writes romances that he's not allowed to read." At one point he'd written, "After the movie, grandma insisted we go to McDonald's. Even though the food is next to poisonous, I went along for her sake." Oh, yeah, thinks I. The kid nearly ate me out of money."
They add such joy to our lives. What adds joy to yours? What gives it that "specialness"?