I knew Joey was a shining star the day he entered the world — big and blond and pink and without a doubt the cutest baby I’d ever seen. And without a doubt, his behavior — stubborn and demanding and wild — can sometimes tarnish his shine. But when he shines, he really shines. Like today.
Today, Joey walked out of his kindergarten class wearing a crown made of royal blue construction paper — with a big yellow construction-paper star displayed front and center. In glitter were the words Shining Star and to accompany his crown, he carried a royal blue tote bag full of goodies and wore a star sticker on his shirt, both also labeled Shining Star. He bounced out of his class and into the outdoors where he met my mom — his Nana — and his cousin Jordan who have picked him up all week. So they saw this precious occasion. And my mom relayed it all to me. And I am so sad I missed it — because it’s surely a once-in-a-lifetime moment. Joey will never be in kindergarten again, will never be a shining star for the first time, will never spill over with the same five-year-old enthusiasm he had today during his first great school moment.
I missed this event because I was at home with a sick three-year-old. But I did get to share in Joey’s glory in my own way. He called me from Nana’s cell phone in the car after school and told me all about his victory, about how one student gets this award every Friday. And when he got home, I took pictures, and I got to see Joey wear his crown for the rest of the day, during our trip to Chili’s for a celebration dinner (he got a lot of smiles), and throughout the rest of night.
And now the crown sits peacefully in the kitchen and Joey sleeps peacefully in his bed. And I am both sad and happy — sad I didn’t witness the wonder of my shining star today and happy that I have the pleasure of witnessing wondrous moments every day. And I plan to soak up every one of them — because my friend Amy in Ohio was just diagnosed with a spread of cancer to her brain and lungs, just five months after she completed treatment for breast cancer. Her doctors give her one year to live — although she plans on surviving much longer — and I can’t stop thinking that it could be me in her shoes. So just in case I do one day walk in her shoes, I’m going to bask in all the wonder I can get. For as long as I can get it.