“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

My Daniel.

I came down this morning, and saw him watching the “I have a Dream Speech” by himself. He watches it every year on the computer. The entire thing. He will talk about it later in the day and tell us his favorite part. Which changes every year.

When Daniel was born he came in less than two hours and close to three weeks early, and we were told by the nurse he was born “with the caul” and would have a sixth sense…because he had the veil of the amniotic sac around him and over his face when he shot out. Also I’m
not exaggerating, he shot out, the doctor wasn’t even at the table and my Mom
caught him.

“With the Caul.” Forever I spelled it wrong until I researched it, and thought they said “call” when in fact it’s “caul” but find that he also has lived “the call.” He lives fast and furiously and always has seemed to be ahead of his time.

He told us when he was 5 he was going to be a priest. Now he says he’ll either be a priest, or if he’s called to marriage(“because being a Dad is the coolest job”) he’d like to be a missionary. He is a class leader, and is the only kid I know who has actually gotten in a few fist fights defending friends, but is still incredibly peaceful. He’s the first to apologize, and knows just about everything there is to know about being a Christian. He’s also a little catholic saint scholar.

He is brave. He confronted a ref at his soccer game who was coaching the other team in Spanish but didn’t realize that their team, including my son, are bilingual and knew exactly what he was saying.

Martin Luther King Jr. lived his calling. He changed a nation. He changed the dynamic of our nation. Not because he was perfect, but because he knew what God was asking of him, and he did it. Valiantly. Bravely.

He said things that were brilliant and profound…and people weren’t always ready to hear it. But still, he said it. And it impacts us today.

Daniel is impacted by what people say. And he thinks about it, and will bring it up later and want to discuss it again…

And he is before his time.

If he decides someday to get married, he will be a great dad. He will also be a great husband, especially if remembers to eat and not let his blood sugar drop. But he will be amazing. And I believe change lives.

If he decides to become a missionary he will speak the word. And change lives.

And if he becomes a priest, he will change lives as well…because he is ahead of his time.

In school he’s found already, that kids aren’t always ready to hear him…He openly talks about God and has already been told that some families don’t believe in him. And he is respectful and will later talk to me about it. And then pray for whoever it is at dinner.

He’s not judgmental. He loves people for who they are.

But still he prays.

And I’m inspired because I don’t always remember to love and just pray first…

Parenting all of my kids has changed my life and continually does- and each one is so different. And I see their paths like the little creases and lines in my hand going their own way.

But them having faith has been my main mission. Or having a chance to have faith.

I don’t ever worry about Daniel not having faith, because he lives and breathes it.

Having kids changed my life.

Having Faith saved my life.

It’s worth it for me to give them that chance.

Today I was changed again. I was thinking about Martin Luther King Jr. and Daniel and I were discussing his speech…and then we start talking about our extended family. How diverse it is and how beautiful it is. That nothing is about color, but everything is about family.

And then the conversation shifted. We were driving to pick up Jonah and the sun was out, and It happened.

We were talking about the Homily from Church the night before. How our bodies were made by God and belong to God…and Daniel told me he’d been thinking about how glad he was that we were his parents.

“Because I love your Dad so much?” I teased.

And then my 11 year said something before his Time…something influenced by a homily but completely profound.

“No because you’re soulmates.

You and Dad are true soulmates because your bodies aren’t lying to you through your marriage- and not only are you soulmates through love but living life with God. If don’t have God your bodies will be lying and you can’t be soulmates. God is the one who will help guide you and he makes it a true marriage.

Most people don’t realize that Mom.”

I pulled over so he could tell me again, and I wrote it down.

Because you know who says stuff like that?

A priest. A Missionary. Someone who knows God well.

Someone before his time.

I know a lot of people. People I love, who have had to say goodbye to their marriages. Some because of abuse. Some because of infidelity. Some because of addiction. For some it wasn’t their choice…no matter how hard they fought. Or prayed. I’m not naive to that.

And I will never judge anyone who has to walk in those shoes. Ever. And no one ever should.

And I love them.

And then there is God.

And there’s our truth.

And there’s my kid. An eleven year old.

Not perfect, but is already teaching me. Today he said something that I’ll read over the years. On the times when sin and my own “wants” lie to me. When I think without my faith I can take care of it, or I can just walk away.

That’s why whenever someone says something to me like “you don’t really think he’s going to be a priest do you?” I have to say, “I don’t know, and whatever he does- I will be so proud.” Because he is already speaking the truth, he is already living his call.

It takes many of us our whole lives to do that. Maybe we wait until tragedy strikes. Or until we are faced with our own fragility.

But Daniel was born ready…

I married my soulmate, and everyday we give our marriage to God. And through that five children were born, and one of them was born with the Caul and ready.

What is your Calling?

We all have one, but most of us don’t realize it.

But I do.

I see it every day in my Daniel.

Ps. Happy Birthday to MLK and to my beautiful Sister in Law Susan- who inspires me every single day!!!