Yesterday was my son's 11th birthday. His name is Jackson. He's a Different.
Jackson loves museums. He can remember the names of people he met only once. When Jackson draws, new ideas flow on to the page like water. He loves jokes. He loves to laugh. He's funny. He's kind. School is a box for him. He is a rock star in an eleven year old body.
At his young age I know that Jackson will live his life with both challenges and passion. He'll learn as he goes, make adjustments and move forward. At the time of his choosing, when he's finally comfortable in his skin, he'll be whatever he is. Jackson won't take on a career. Instead, he'll just be himself and let his life wrap it's arms around him and in turn, he'll wrap his arms around it. That's what Differents do.
It's The Differents that make the world a more interesting place. They don't fit in. Instead, they find their own way in. They don't rely on logic and practicality to build a life they can enjoy later. They simply be themselves through their strengths and find new ways to contribute. Albert Einstein, Rosa Parks, Wayne Gretzky and Muhammad Ali... are all Differents. Martin Luther King, William Shakespeare, Will Ferrell, Will I Am and the young boys above... well, you get the picture. Think of a person that stands out in your mind... and I guarantee that they are a Different.
As any father does, I love my son to the moon and back. Him and I have a special connection that starts in our genes but for Jackson and I there's one more connection to share. I appreciate that he is a Different and he appreciates that I am a Different too. I'm going to continue to celebrate his Differents as well as my own and in 2010, I'm going to celebrate and share more Differents with you right here.
So to Jackson: Happy Birthday my brilliant, hilarious rock star / museum hunter!
To you the reader: Happy New Year. May you be a Different too.
"We are all born originals - why is it so many of us die copies?" - Edward Young