This is Tyson. A funny, daring, energetic nine year old boy who really loves Jesus and outdoor adventures…..so you know, I may be a little partial to him.
I was introduced to him when he was five and he was beginning the adoption process with my brother-in-law and his wife. He had been shuffled between several families over the years mainly because he was so full of energy. The first time I met him, he stole my heart and perhaps broke a few of my ribs with a blindsided tackle (and he was only 50 pounds). That is how he typically shows me love.
He is the little guy on the soccer team running with everything he has up and down the field in hoping that the ball comes his way and even though he is only nine, he believes he can wrestle (and win) any match against his older cousins and uncles. If you ask him why he tries so hard or believes he is the strongest he will tell you that he has Jesus inside of him and He gives him all his strength. Then he is will follow by stating that he is walking miracle every day and that God makes everyday amazing. This is where I pick my jaw up off the floor and try to live like Tyson.
I think, what an honor it must be to be his parents because it is such an honor to be his aunt. Whenever we drive over to Spokane, he runs up and asks me “when are we going rock climbing, backpacking, or caving? Can we do all that in one trip?” He is always trying to find out what our next adventures are and if he can join. With an adventurous child with a lot of energy, I say give him a backpack and take him up in the mountains.
For the past three years, we have gone backpacking with him and his dad for a couple days in the summer and we always have a great time. Our first trip included two of three days in the rain and he fished and hiked regardless of the weather. He is the smallest, but fastest and strongest kid to hike with and almost always is excited for the adventure and grateful to be included. He has joined us on some rock climbing adventures and even an extended weekend of caving.
Earlier this week, I got the chance to take him, another nephew and my son on a special (no girls, except me) backpacking trip. What a blessing it was to see his face light up as we reached the high alpine lake. He felt so empowered to help set up the “boys” tent and arrange everybody’s sleeping bags. No log or boulder was left unclimbed and he was the first to kick off his shoes and jump in the lake. He taught me how to roast marshmallows by completely burning them and made sure to wake up before his cousins to catch sunrise with me. He lives to embrace the world, find adventure and make connections with everyone. If there is ever a kid that truly lives in the moment it is Tyson and I am blessed to part of his life.