The little boy was big for his age. He was only three years old but most people thought he was older and expected things of him that an older boy would be doing. But he was content in his life, with his big sister and his mom and dad. He wasn't sure what it meant because his dad was already in the military when the boy was born, but he felt some sort of pride when he watched his dad in his Marine uniform.
The family was moving all the way across the country from California to Virginia. The road trip in the crowded car was a vacation for the little boy and his sister who had never been out of California and mostly living on a military base in family housing.
The boy and girl were introduced to many new things on the trip: People are served grits instead of potatoes in some states; the children at the park playgrounds in Texas spoke another language that the boy and girl couldn't understand. The parents informed them that the children were speaking English, they just had strong accents.
The first few days in Virginia provided many learning experiences. Most of the buildings were made of brick instead of the Spanish stucco they were all used to. The pedestrians didn't have the right of way crossing the street on the corners and the whole family was nearly wiped out at once as cars sped around them and honked. All the new sights and sounds were intimidating those early days.
Mom and Dad had heard about a place called Georgetown so the first place for the family to visit was there. The station wagon wasn't full of belongings now that the car was unpacked, so the little boy wanted to sit in the very back so he could see everything coming and going.
Suddenly the little boy shouted "Stop the car! Stop the car!" causing his dad to almost get in an accident as he tried to get the car over safely. When the car was stopped, the dad and mom turned around in their seats to look at the boy, who was jumping up and down with excitement. With huge eyes and an even bigger smile, the little boy proclaimed "I just saw Jesus riding down the street on a bicycle!!!"
Since the little boy had only lived on a military base with all personnel wearing very short hair, he had never seen a man with a beard wearing long hair. Turns out that in Georgetown there were men with long hair and beards, and bike riding was easier and cheaper for college students and professors to dodge the traffic and get to appointments and classes.
This is a true story. The little boy is my son. He is married and lives in Hawaii with his wife. Today is his birthday. He is a kind, gentle man and I hope he has a special birthday. He has brought so much goodness and acceptance into my life and taught me many things. I love you, son. Happy Birthday.