Monday, May 31, 2010

Kyle's First Birthday in Malaysia

I can't believe he is 12 years old already. Where has the time gone?

We went to Chili's for dinner to celebrate his birthday (one of his wishes was to have regular American food for dinner!).

They brought him a free dessert. And he made wish as he blew out the candle. I wonder what he wished for....

I know at least one of his wishes came true...he got an XBOX 360 Elite and a bunch of games for his birthday. As you can tell, he was thrilled!

In some cultures, 12 years old means you are a to take a wife...expected to work to provide for yourself and your family. And while I am definitely not ready for him to be a man, I do realize that it will be here before I know it.

I was sitting at a baccalaureate service on Sunday for our school and the guest speaker was talking to the graduates and he said something that really stuck with me. He told the students to GO OUT AND REBEL. Rebel, by all means...just don't be a cliche. Anybody can rebel by drinking, doing drugs, having casual sex, failing classes, etc. Those kids are a dime a dozen and that kind of rebellion is so tired and played out it would be funny if it weren't so sad.

How about rebelling by doing something really amazing with your life? Go on a mission trip and dig a well for an impoverished village. Tutor inner city kids. Spend your Saturday mornings working at a soup kitchen. Volunteer at a nursing home. Run a Vacation Bible School for children in a poor neighborhood.

I want my son to rebel. I want him to rebel against the caricature existence that most adolescents live through. I want him to look at the typical adolescent life and say "Is that really all there is?" I want him to skip the front door that everone else is going in and out of ...and jump out the window.

So my gift to my son is a copy of this book: Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations. If you have a teenager, go out today and get this book and teach them to be a REBEL.

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