A personal initiative to live more appreciatively

Saturday, September 22, 2012

#259: Matthew

Today we celebrated the 5th birthday of my nephew, Matthew. At one point during his party his younger cousin, Tyler, tripped, and in doing so punctured a hole in one of Matthew's gifts. Tyler welled up with tears, the shock of his fall and the realization of what he did overwhelming him. Matthew immediately took his hand, crouched down by his side, and said, "It's okay Tyler." While a typical five year old might have been upset by the slight damage to one of his gifts, Matthew could care less. In that moment all that mattered was making sure his cousin was calmed. All of us in the room gushed, his selflessness testament to what a fundamentally good natured, sweet kid Matthew is.

Matthew has grown up so quickly; he's definitely a little boy now, and I was a little saddened to be buying him little boy gifts, as opposed to toddler boy ones. He carries himself with such self-control and patience, speaks with character and enhanced vocabulary that I even aged him a year and mistakenly thought he was turning 6! I was happy, actually, to realize he's only 5...it felt in a way that I bought a year of his childhood back, and he's such a fun kid to watch grow up at that. I love watching his care of his baby brother Landon, his affection for his parents, his spirited personality, and his very Italian way of talking with his hands. Matthew is my first nephew not to be blood related, and I think in being that I will always hold a special place in my heart for him-- he's one of many people who've proven to me that family is defined not by our genetic ties but by ones bound by love.

Matthew and me. We clean up well. 

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