Just Look at That Face

July 30, 2013

I began writing this post telling you about my son's early years, about what his strengths and weaknesses were. It was a clinical description, much like one a teacher, doctor, or educational diagnostician would give. I'd posted a picture to go along with my icy words.

But then I re-read it and deleted everything on the screen but the photo. Too cold. No heart. So I started over, thinking about what I really want you to know about my first born son. And I looked at that face. That face posted here.

Here's what I see: HOPE. It's in his eyes. Look at that face. His eyes sparkle as if he's looking into his own future and he knows it will be bright.  His baby round cheeks hide a hesitant smile suggesting a waggish way about him. Doesn't he look like he's planning something mischievious? Something funny? Well, he probably was...something delightfully funny. That's who that little boy could be, who he sometimes was. And that's what this picture lets me remember. Not the difficult impulse control issues. Not the temper tantrums. Not the sleep problems. Not the tears, his or ours.

Look at that face. Just look at it.

When he was that age, he was into telling jokes. Knock Knock jokes and real groaners. And they were complicated jokes that he couldn't really remember completely. He'd get knee deep into telling one and then stop, forgetting it, and say, "Oh, well, I'd better work on that one!" and he'd run away laughing, cracking himself up.

His biting wit is still with him today--when his mood is up. But he doesn't bother telling jokes anymore. Instead, when he feels good, he shares hilarious observations about his daily life. Even while behind bars, he can actually have his brother, his dad and me laughing. He's in PRISON. That's not funny. But somehow he can spin it into something to make us laugh. He loves to make us laugh, but cracking his brother up is probably his favorite thing to do. When the two of them get started, the world is shut out and all you hear is hearty chuckling. The last time I heard that was a few weeks ago. One son was on one side of plexi-glass while the other was on the opposite side, with a telephone between them. I still heard the laughter though. And I still saw the sparkle in those baby blue eyes of his.

So yes, I can look at that picture today and still see HOPE, even now. This "still hopeful mom" will not give up. Even with that baby faced blue-eyed boy behind bars serving time, I can look at that face and dig deep for some hope. Sometimes I really have to dig deep. But I can find it.

Now, in closing, I was going to tell you a joke. But I forgot the ending. I'd better work on that one.


  1. Beautiful! Many people live in his or her own prison. Your son is already finding his way out. I am a believer in EVERYTHING happening for the best reasons. Hopefully, your son will be open to the messages for this opportunity. Tell him to find the three things he is grateful for every morning when he first wakes up. Your love for him is amazing!

  2. Thanks, Paul. I will definitely share your words with him. Your website is amazing BTW. Thank you for sharing your inspiring story.