I wasn’t there. And so I’m not really sure how old the boy was that pivotal day so many years ago.
He was old enough to have passed that seventh grade year when his parents separated, and then divorced. The year first spent at a difficult new school in a new town. Old enough to have marked the time when his mom and dad both remarried. Marriages that, little did he know then, would go on to grow over thirty anniversaries. And old enough to know well the torment of middle school bullies. The ones whose taunts elicited silent tears later shed at his school desk, his face hidden in the shelter of folded arms.
While I may not know what birthday this hurting boy celebrated last, what I do know is that on this particular day a proclamation of sorts was spoken over him. Words of life were carefully uttered in a small kitchen in a small town in Michigan that changed the course of his life.
“Ted, if anyone ever asks you to describe yourself,” his stepmom Alice remarked, “tell them you’re a happy person.”
Those words were taken to heart that day. Rather than let the pain of divorce and change and school bullies bitter him, this boy found himself thinking, “I am a happy person. That’s me.”
Decades later, I can attest that he is.
This once-towhead little boy now grown big is my husband. And I realize that after eleven years of marriage, I owe Alice an overdue thank you. For her self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts has affected me too.
[Read the rest of the post over at Bronwyn’s Corner.]