Happy Birthday, Mark!

Twenty-three years ago today, in Janesville, Wisconsin, our son Mark William Richard was born.

Mark from the second book in the New Testament (and partly because his older brother is Matthew).  William for his paternal grandfather (and the Wi in William standing for the state of his birth).  Richard for his maternal grandfather.

The day he came home, we received two to three inches of snow.  On May 5th.

It doesn't seem that long ago.  He's all grown up.  Well, truthfully, he's been grown up a while now... but another big life event coming tomorrow will kind of seal that whole 'coming of age' thing.

When he was three, I was 'between jobs' for the first of two times in my life, and because of the various types of help we received it was discovered that Mark had suffered with some earlier ear infections we hadn't caught (since he hadn't cried) and that led to some trouble in speech development.  Some of the types of help we were eligible for led to some extra help and rehabilitation and a year in Head Start.

That year helped change his life as his speech development caught up to his peer group and he spoke 'normally.'

From the age of three through his sophomore year of high school, home was in Augusta, Wisconsin.  It was there we lived in a big old Civil War era home that was a perfect fit for a 1910 piano.  A piano he took lessons on for a short time.

Half-way through sophomore year, I took a job in Indianapolis, following the second 'between job' episode, and his entry into Lutheran High School of Indianapolis changed his life again.

It put him on a college track and he met some friends he's stayed close to through today (he also still has some close friends from his time in Augusta).  One of the first things I remember about the impact of the high school was after he learned to drive and had a license... I got into my car after he had driven it and found the radio on, volume up, and tuned into the Christian radio station.

He's a great young man and has grown up well and is very blessed by God with many skills and abilities.

Mom and I are hoping soon (very soon) he'll be taking those skills to a full-time employer... and that looks promising.

In any case, the past twenty-three minutes of my life seem to represent his fast arc through life....

Happy Birthday, Mark!

One time, near the end of his senior year in High School, I was able to hop on the P.A. to wish him a Happy Birthday.  He never liked his friends and others in school to know we were related... so it was only then that I wished him a Happy Birthday using his childhood nickname.  I'd tell you about it here, but I promised him I would never use 'Marky-moomoo' again in public, so I won't.