...is leaving us very soon. In about 4 months to be exact. He is going to Taiwan on a Rotary Exchange for almost a year. He will spend his grade 12 year going to school from 7am to 5pm, living with 3 or 4 families and taking in the cultures & customs of a whole new country. I cant help but feel pride for his bravery. He has been immmersing himself in the language using Rosetta Stone. He is reaching out to & connecting with other students who have traveled as he will to different countries. Why is he doing this. First, it is an opportunity that comes around once in a lifetime. When else could you travel & stay with locals & live as they do & bridge gaps & build understanding of one anothers cultural differences as he can at this age. Second, this will look amazing on a resume for future employment, education & other unsaid opportunities. Third and maybe most important, CHANGE! This guy has seen much change in his 16 years. He has overcome obstacles that have weakened lesser men. He has been brave in the face of adversity, challenged people to see & accept him or respect him at the very least. He has held his head high when NO ONE would give him a chance, or believe in him. His words to me not so long ago were something like this..."In a world where people make mistakes every day, mine have piled up & seem unforgivable. I want what everyone else has and that is respect. Granted I have brought many peoples opinions of me on all by myself but I have changed & I just need someone to believe in me. I want more out of life than I was asking for before... This guy is 16, as I mentioned.
What insight, but as I said, he has had to walk over coals to get to here & he deserves this opportunity. He deserves a shot at the greatness he is inspired by & he plans to take that for himself. Maybe he cannot articulate it right now but he is taking care of his heart in a way that many young people dont understand right now. He is ok with not doing things that will make him popular any longer but in doing what is right & necessary. One of his previous teachers & a family friend attested to this guys character. He said that this guy is a champion at life. He said that this guy knows how to rise above & has a penchant for the finer things in life. This guy is my 16 year old son who I admire so much.
When I was 16, the things that were important were having a car, having lots of friends, parties & fun. When I was 16, I didnt read the news, nor did I care. I am acutley aware that at 16, this guy has more on the go than I ever could have imagined possible and so I support & love him for every valiant effort to seek out the good things & make them his.
He will see beauty that most can only view pictures of. He will broaden his horizons & open new doors. He will grow & change. He will leave a 16 year old boy who plays video games & loves pop & south park & come home a man with some knowledge of the world. I hope & pray every day for strength to accept this growth & courage to not miss him so much & understand the changes he will undergo.
He said to me that it bothers him that at his school, they will put athletes on the wall. They will have praise for the mechanics or beauty program but they dont put an exhcange students endeavors in the lime light. This is a huge thing he is doing. A really BIG thing. How many kids his age could leave the comforts of home & the safety & seurity of their parents to go out on their own like this. To give up graduating on time & make sure to attend all of the grad parties & events that are sure to ensue. How many kids could leave behind their motorbike that they covet or the chance at a reationship or a whole year of driving their own vehicle. Not that many by my count.
But this guy can & he will & I believe in him. This guy is my 16 year old son Jordan