Before the birth of our son Charles, I was working on a series of blogs celebrating the unique personhood of Charles' four big brothers, Benedict, Andrew, George and Henry. Writing ten things we love about each elder son was also a dedication to Charles, sharing with him all of the wonderful gifts he would experience in having four older siblings to love him, teach him and influence him. But, the series was brought to a halt after George's dedication, as our little Charles arrived (to our astonishment!) 11 days early! Settling back into the rhythm of daily life again, it's time I pick up where I left off.....so Charles, here are
10 THINGS WE LOVE ABOUT ANDREW SIMON JOSEPH
1. Andrew is the most caring and affectionate boy in the world. He is the one who wakes up with Henry in the night when he has a bad dream or is sick. He is the one who sees Henry struggling to keep up at the zoo and offers him a piggy-back ride, and he is the one who is willing to give whatever he has to his brothers if he sees that they are doing without. Charles - you have a guardian angel to watch over you, and you also have Andrew - who is about as close to angelic as they get.
2. Andrew has a great sense of humor. His personality is a great mix of wit and goofiness. Not a day goes by that he doesn't have us in stitches. This tends to make tedious tasks fun, boring school lessons entertaining and ordinary experiences extraordinary. I can hardly wait to hear you giggle at his antics for the first time!
3. One of the most wonderful gifts that Andrew has been blessed with is his gift of calm confidence. I asked him once if he ever gets nervous before a recital, a wrestling match, or any event and he said no. I think he just truly enjoys everything he's involved in, and has a beautiful ability to relish the experiences he is given, not worrying about performing for or pleasing others. This purity of heart is beautiful, and I know that as you spend time with Andrew, he will share this gift with you!
4. Andrew has a special place in his heart for music. His ability to be technical and expressive is such a joy! I look forward to the day when you will sit beside him at the piano or with the violin and play duets or improv together.
5. As long as we're on a roll with talents, I cannot hold back from mentioning Andrew's love for sports. He has his mind set on a professional football career. And, after the successful season he had wrestling, with a very determined spirit, I don't think that's a goal out of reach! Are you ready to be rough and tumble with your big bro??
6. When Andrew was a very little boy, Steve and I recognized that Andrew had a very spiritual nature. He had a special wisdom beyond his years, and still does today. During my pregnancy, Andrew would often tell me after Mass, "Mom, I prayed for the baby." One day you will understand what a treasure it is to have someone who loves you praying for you!
8. Not only is Andrew teachable, he is also coachable. He takes in every word and applies it to his craft. This requires a special humility - recognizing that there is room for improvement, and being willing to continue working and trying.
He then passes everything he knows on to his younger brothers. You can be certain that he will have all the best tips for rolling over, crawling and taking those first steps!
9. The older Andrew gets, the more he displays a very adventurous spirit. The pure boy inside of him, the wildness in his heart is beautiful!
His zest for life is contagious, and those around him can't help but feel the desire to soak in the greatness of life. I am certain you won't be able to resist his enthusiasm!
10. Finally, Dear Charles, the gift we love most in Andrew is his love for others. He is the most loyal, kind, sincere, caring and encouraging friend you will ever have. If you need someone to listen, he will be there, if you are down he will cheer you up, if you are alone he will stand beside you, if your burdens are heavy he will help you carry them, if you are successful he will celebrate with you and when you are grown and think back on the memories of your life, I am certain that Andrew will be a wonderful part of them!