So this is the guy I used to call "my little man." Except he is now thirteen years old, and little can't really work anymore. All grown up, into one of the very best people I know. He is thoughtful, kind, funny, loving, disciplined, smart, responsible and willing to dive in to figure things out, no matter how hard it might be. And in him there truly is no guile. What you see is what you get, and he couldn't lie to save his life. Let me tell you one short story from today that will tell you everything you need to know about Alden.
Today was his birthday, but we focused all night on his sister, Kate, who had the opening performance of her high school musical (Fidler on the Roof). I am also working on some large projects these days, and so had to be at work until right before the musical started. We did not get home from that until 9:30.
That meant we spent almost the whole birthday -- all but the last hour or so -- focused on anyone but Alden. I was worried about how he would feel about that. Then we came home, pulled out the cake and two presents, and after a rousing version of happy birthday (in both english, chinese and pretty good harmony) we spent the next forty five minutes laughing and goofing around, as these pictures attest.
In the middle of the laughter, Alden said, "this is why I have family, this right here." Then, after I put him to bed, I got this text from him: "Thanks for one of the best birthdays of my life." My heart just melted. Simple things for a simply great kid. I don't know if there is any way possible to say how much I love this wonderful, amazing child. But I hope he knows that he is the joyful morning sunrise in a slowly sunsetting heart, and it means so very, very much to me. I love you little buddy. You are the best!