I am still amazed sometimes when I look at Declan. He’s 11 as of last week and already my height. Mairen is older (and shorter) than he is and she has always been more mature than her age and frankly more mature than MY age half the time. Declan is different. He’s a kid, through and through. He laughs loudly, storms off when he’s mad, and gives the biggest hugs on earth. He cries at the movies and still likes to sleep with a stuffed friend or two and his ability to see the joy in everyday life is remarkable.
He’s not the intellectual powerhouse his sister and brother are but he is an emotional powerhouse and has a giving spirit that reminds me every day what I aspire to be. He’s not perfect mind you, but he’s definitely got his priorities right most of the time. He is thrilled for others’ accomplishments even if they are doing things he would love to do but can’t. When I think about what makes a person great it isn’t their smarts or their accomplishments, it is their heart and Declan has that in spades.
Tonight we watched the movie ‘Rudy’ which we loved. For those of you who haven’t seen it, ‘Rudy’ is the true story of a blue collar guy growing up in the sixties and early 70s whose dream was to play football for Notre Dame. This guy wasn’t smart and he certainly wasn’t big, and according to everyone around him really didn’t have a God-given gift as an athlete. What this guy had was heart. He sunk everything he had into fulfilling his dream and made it. He ultimately played in the final minutes of the final game of his senior year and was so loved and respected by his teammates that it only through their bidding with the coach that he was even in uniform for the game. He was carried off the field by his teammates and no one else has been since.
What I liked best about this movie was that it showed that Rudy’s success came only because he was absolutely committed to his dream and never compromised who he was to get there. He didn’t transform into a great player or a bright student. Instead he remained an incredibly hard worker and in doing so he inspired everyone on their team to give a little bit more. Declan is the Rudy in my life. Almost nothing comes easy to him and yet he perseveres with a smile on his face most of the time and in doing so he inspires me to give just a little bit more.