That’s what I used to call my Danny boy, the youngest of the Peercy Posse. He was the one that would bring up the rear, the last car in the train.
Then he came home from his first day of kindergarten and announced that he didn’t want to be called the caboose any more.
He was always having to speak too loudly to try and be heard above the noise of the crowd of siblings. He has been bossed and occasionally bullied and sometimes left behind. But I have watched him learn to navigate the maze of people in our home as the one who would get along with anyone.
He has had some legendary one-liners – especially in his very young days when his vocabulary had outgrown his enunciation. When he flatly assured one of his brothers, “That’s hi-wa-wious. You’re hi-wa-wious” (hilarious), the car-load of people roared with laughter. When he felt his oldest brother’s words were contradictory to his actions, he informed me, “Dad, Mickey’s being a democrat.” (No political commentary intended, just confused the word democrat with hypocrite. Supply your own joke in whatever direction you want to take it.)
All along, despite his hindrance with Bell’s palsy and other frustrations, he has had this drive to be a part of something bigger than himself. He has grown up with a recognition of the need for community—the need to share life with others. He loves being on a team whether it’s a worship team or a soccer team or a leadership team or his biggest team, the band.
For his last end-of-year band banquet last night, he was asked to share some thoughts. He was honest and kind of emotional (which we know as transparency). He was clear-spoken and accurate. He owned old mistakes and celebrated grace (in his band director’s restraint from taking his life when he damaged a tuba at a marching contest while playing hackey sack). And he ended with one of his greatest strengths—pulling his peers together in their traditional “D-town” chant.
And the audience stood to their feet in appreciation of a kid showing his heart and sharing his passion and being real… and expressing what this whole band thing really is.
It was a proud moment for his old man. I was proud that he did without my coaching what I try to do all the time. Though he was so incredibly nervous, he put the fear behind for the greater purpose before him.
That’s my boy.
Sitting on the porch this morning reflecting on that sweet moment, I realize that this feeling of joy in my heart as I see that young man doing what he was made to do, what he was raised to do, I had a moment of recognition.
I have written much about the fact that God has taught me more about Himself through my kids than through any book I could read. And in this moment of reflecting on the pride and joy I felt over my son last night, I see this truth again so very clearly.
When we lean into that purpose for which we were created, it brings delight to the heart of our Creator.
To this end the Psalmist implored:
Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves in them. (Psalm 69.34)
As I sat and watched my son do just part of what he was made to do, my heart was full, saying, “That’s my boy!”
And so our Father, when I do what I was made to do, is filled with joy. No doubt He too whispers, “That’s my boy.”