Thirteen years ago, late on the evening of the Feast of St. Therese, I felt a familiar tugging across my tummy. Mike was in Boston. It wasn't really all that urgent, just a tug. He took the last plane out of Boston. A train wouldn't have cut it.
Early on a Sunday morning, we made our way to the hospital. One thing was certain, we were going to miss Mass that day. Our pastor, Fr. Bob, said that when he looked out at the congregation and saw we weren't there, he knew I was in labor. So, he prayed especially for our baby during the consecration. As nearly as we can figure such things, Patrick made his entrance into the world at the same time the Eucharist was consecrated at George Mason's campus ministry on the morning of October 2, 1994. The child, named Patrick Gabriel, was born on the Feast of the Guardian Angels. He is our herald of good things.
Patrick is a serious
child young man. The family joke is that it's difficult to find a picture of Paddy to share or to take group pictures with Paddy in them. He doesn't smile. It's not that he's sad; he's just serious. As in way, way intense. He is an extraordinarily gifted soccer player. We've tried to hide this fact from him;-) but recently we were found out. While trying to fill out a form, he was looking for his social security number. He saw pages and pages of commentary from soccer websites where he has been spotted as a phenom. Mike had tucked them away for later reading--much, much later. Patrick read them all. He smiled that day. All day long.
He's also an extraordinarily gifted student, a fact that he pays no attention to at all. It's all easy for him and he takes it very much for granted. Finally, he's a gifted leader. This is a strange phenomenon, I think because he is the third child in our family. He is captain of the soccer team. And he is captain of the kids around here, too. Christian, who is older, is happy to have Patrick lead. Christian is at the eat-sleep-grunt stage of teenaged life.
Here are some reminiscences of Patrick's childhood, dug up as we celebrate his leap to the teen years:
The Gift of Faith
Patrick on Love and Babies
Patrick and the Guardian Angels
Patrick and First Communion
Patrick the Clown