Mr. Responsible: Jonathan
By Terri White
Responsible. Diligent. Meticulous. Tidy. Organized. Math-whiz. Businessman. These are all apt adjectives describing our oldest son. At age 43, he is the epitome of integrity.
Raising him was easy. Say it once. He complied – even as a crawling baby. “Don’t touch the outlet.” He never touched it again. However, as a newborn, he cried a lot. Colicky we used to say, and as a new mother, I was clueless. But I tried my best, and eventually, he grew out of it.
Homeschooled, he easily lapped up information like a sponge. Math? A piece of cake. At age four, he taught himself to count to 100. Algebra? Trig? Calculus? A breeze. Lucky me. His other subjects? Just as easy. More lucky me.
Jonathan has always kept active. During family reading times, he would sit quietly for a while, but then get up and pace. Fine by me. He still listened. At church, he brought his matchbook cars to keep him occupied. Lying under the pew, he zoomed them along imaginary highways. While schooling, he took frequent breaks to let off steam in between lessons. It worked. He remained focused.
As an adult, he routinely works out at the gym and enjoys “old-man” basketball games. Not so old from my view, though. Ha! Let’s not forget the father-son ball games that keep him on his toes as well. However, he’s still young enough to beat the heck out of his boys. But they’re only eleven and nine. Just wait. In a few years, they’ll give him a run-for-his-money.
Married just two weeks shy of age 21, Jonathan and his wife Esther determined to pursue their dreams. Childless the first several years of marriage, they finished college, built businesses, and traveled. We quit asking about a grandchild after a few years to avoid the eye rolls. (Just kidding – or am I?)
But then. Then their first son arrived who, from birth, developed an unusually strong bond with his daddy. I’ve never witnessed such fatherly devotion. Nurturing exuded from Jonathan, and his son Lucas soaked it up. To this day, eleven-year-old Lucas will ease over to his dad, slipping his hand into Jonathan’s - anywhere.
And he’s the spittin’ image of dad, too. Not only does he look like him, but his personality and interests also mirror his dad’s.
For their second son, Jonathan and Esther opted to adopt a four-year-old. The complete opposite of mom, dad, and brother’s personalities, Jace breezed through the family. And oh brother! Has he ever added pizzazz to the mix! Life’s a party, you know. If it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing. To raise this happy-go-lucky boy, Jonathan learned to adjust his parenting gears. But I’ll share those stories another time.
Over the years, Jonathan has built some successful businesses – and lost a few, too. All stretching experiences. Even though life’s curveballs have sometimes hit him hard, he always bounces back due to his determination and his impeccable reputation.
His current business is going gang-busters. Some of his employees have worked for him for years in his various businesses. Because he treats them well, they remain loyal to him.
He even earned a patent on a device he invented. Not just patent-pending, but the honest-to-goodness-certified patent.
A devoted father, Jonathan coaches his boys’ basketball and football teams. He loves it, and his sons do, too. Patient, encouraging and brilliant, he’s a delight to see in action. Everyone appreciates him. Me, too.
Marrying early suited both Jonathan and Esther. Our families met at a homeschool function and became fast friends. Eventually, Steve and I secretly agreed that Esther would be the perfect partner for Jonathan. We were right.
Jonathan’s devotion to his children stems from his deep love for his wife. They perfectly complement each other. He’s thoughtful and committed. Romantic, too. Oooh, la la!
Despite all these accolades, he’s not all sweetness. When Esther drags him to The Nutcracker performance at Bass Hall, for example, the fun begins. His friends join them just to listen to Jonathan’s snide comments. This spices up life for all those around him.
So here’s to my firstborn, a straight arrow, who set a high bar for my other two kids to follow. But, hey, the other two provided those tempting curves that jazz up life. Gotta have both. I’m a lucky mom.