It became clear Wade's freshmen year of high school that he had been given a different gift than one of just an athlete; he had been given the gift of intelligence and the love of learning. Our job as parents was to get out his way and not screw this up.
Thankfully, Union Public Schools offers a wide array of advanced courses and experiences that created an appetite for mental challenge kept his hungry young mind busy consuming knowledge. After dozens of fabulous teachers, Wade Garrett attained his goal - one that not one family member has ever accomplished.
We are humbled,
We are proud.
We are thankful.
It is a worthy goal to have achieved.
We are unbalanced.
When he learned last Friday night that he had indeed been selected as a National Merit Scholar, I think he drove out passed Riverside down 71st street. He was missing that snarky voice, his greatest fan, his closet ally, his nemesis. I was almost asleep and he walked in to tell me he was going for a drive. "Where?" I asked. "Just past Riverside. I won't be gone long." His daddy and I fought back tears all night.
So many secrets they shared. So many late night talks where our only clue of the confidences traded came in bursts of laughter bouncing down the stairs.
We each put on such a brave face. It's a worthy goal, to act as though we have navigated this loss and we are sure of our next step. We hold it together for each other and for everyone else when really I think we are each looking for a place to just fall apart. Yet, we chase bravery - for each other, for Taylor Renee, for the folks who don't know what to do with all our pain - we chase bravery. It's a worthy goal.
Regardless, this is who Wade would have been even if his sister were working in New York for the Yankees, even if the world had not ended, even if that space just west beyond the river wasn't the most evil of thieves. This is who he would have been because along with chasing bravery, he chases excellence. He learned how to chase excellence listening to his daddy and watching his sister. Now, he is a strong and courageous National Merit Scholar. And we are so thankful
It's a good thing.