Happy Birthday Joey

Today is the birthday of my grandson Joey. He spent the day with his family and his best friend, having some fun in the sun at a nearby river. I had the privilege of having one on one time and celebrating with this handsome young man yesterday. 

We kicked off Joey’s birthday with a first for both of us, dinner at the newly opened Chili’s in Joplin. We have dined in this restaurant before, but never together or in the Joplin location. While we waited for our meals to arrive, Joey and I had fun playing Life on the table’s player. This is smart marketing on Chili’s part and a great way to pass the time. We laughed and talked as we took turns spinning the electronic wheel and watching to see what Life presented us with. Joey ended up with a car full of daughters! I’ve always loved this board game and Joey and I determined to play another round soon. 

I had so much fun at Christmas time, taking each grandchild out for dinner and shopping, that I began a new birthday tradition this year. I’m taking each child out again for dinner and shopping, except this time, they get to spend their allotted cash on themselves, rather than on others. The kids choose which store they want to shop in, or they can pocket the cash. 

Joey chose Toys R Us as his destination. I enjoyed walking alongside him as he carefully deliberated, talking through his options. It didn’t take long for him to zero in on a modular Nerf gun that can be assembled in a multitude of ways. Joey’s eyes lit up as he returned again and again to look over that Nerf gun. 

Joey, Aubrey and Oliver. 

I looked up Joey’s name: 

Joey, you are honest, benevolent, brilliant and often inventive, full of inspiration. You are courageous, honest, determined, original and creative. You are a leader, especially for a cause. Sometimes you do not care to finish what you start, and may leave details to others. You do well in positions of authority, and you will prosper in intellectual and professional fields. You are frank, methodical and believe in law, system and order.

You are always looking for a chance to do your own thing, to be your own person, and to have things done your own way.

These words describe my bright grandson well. He’s the oldest child in his family, and leadership suits him. He is inventive and creative. We have spent time sketching together. I love looking through his art portfolio at the many drawings he has done. Joey isn’t afraid to attempt sketching anything, and I appreciate his confidence. 

I’ve watched this past year as Joey has grown into a young man. He had a great school year and football season, as he matured in every way. He enters a new school this fall, leaving elementary school behind. Joey thinks deeply and enjoys a good conversation. He always asks me how I am and wants to know what I’ve been enjoying. 

As I drove him home last night, I realized just how close he’s getting to his teen years. We had an amazing and deep conversation, about who he is and who he is becoming, and about his role as the older brother. For the first time, Joey and I discussed energy and what it means to be empathic and how to shake off negative energy. He is an intelligent young man. He nodded in understanding as we discussed life and the journey and he asked great questions. When he shared some of his own observations about life and people, my heart swelled with love and pride. He is growing up. 

The last section above, about Joey’s characteristics, is what I see him becoming so beautifully…one who looks for the chance to do his own thing, in his own way, as he is being totally who he is. He shines, as brightly as those expressive brown eyes of his. Happy birthday Joey. I love you!

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