When deciding on Braeden's middle name, I first picked Charles. That was my Grandpa Wilbur's middle name.
The May before Braeden was born, I was in North Dakota, the state where Grandpa Wilbur lived and passed in 1986. I didn't know him very well because I was so young, but he came to visit me that May of 2014 while I slept on my aunt and uncle's couch.
It was Grandpa's 100th birthday, and my mom and I went to visit his grave that day. I felt a coolness behind me as I tried to sleep on my side with a little bun in my oven. I knew instantly that it was him.
He told me I was having a boy.
So when Braeden was born, I had the inclination to brand his middle name after Grandpa Wilbur Charles. However, my own father is still alive. My wonderful Daddio Philip. I figured he would be honored, too, so I switched it to Braeden Philip to carry on that legacy. All from the convenience of my hospital bed.
Why am I telling you this?
Because "Chuck" lives on in Braeden. He is a rock chucker to the max. He chucks each rock enthusiastically and deliberately. Like each one is his first and last.
Double-fisting before the double chucker
Luckily Bryce has a beach nearby where we can go, so Brady P. can satisfy his obsession... in April! There is no place to sit on a rock beach near open water in the Harbor right now. I have looked.
Thanks Bryce, for finding a beach, chucking with us and capturing the moments (all photos on this post courtesy of Bryce).
Watching Braeden do this is inspiring. He is in his element, no doubt. The moment he sits (or stands) on the beach, he scoops up a rock and tosses is in. Giddily. Merrily. Seriously. Like he means it.
It's so inspiring, that anyone around has to join in for a few.
B and me in rock-tossing bliss
Over and over and over and over again. The other day we sat out for almost two hours, and he still disagreed when we said it was time to leave.
"Three more rocks, Braeden," is always my cue to inform him that we are about to leave. Then we have to say good-bye to the rocks and lake, so he knows that we are really leaving.
He still disagrees.
And that is a nice way to say that sometimes he throws himself into the rocks and screams in protest. Sometimes he comes reluctantly. But he always disagrees. At minimum.
I can't blame him. Who wants to leave Lake Superior? Who wants to leave the beach? Who wants to stop doing their favorite thing in the world?
Certainly not Braeden.
He could sit there all day in mild to warm weather. He doesn't even know he is hungry until we get inside.
I really wonder if he might be the first Major League baseball pitcher with Down syndrome. Not that we watch sports, but he's got mad skills.
It is in him. My little Chuck.