Friday, September 23, 2011

My Two (New) Sons: #2

Let me be clear, in case anyone might take the opportunity to give him a bad time about it, I've only labeled Prince Helium as New Son #2, certainly not as any kind of ranking, but because he is the 2nd son-in-law we gained... Of course, through this summer's Wedding #2. 

About to graduate with her degree in Theology in spring of 2010, Princess Bossy was excited to be chosen as the first intern for the campus ministry program with the Presbyterian Church in Tulsa.  Her job started in August, but she was invited for a special weekend event in April.  She came home thrilled with her experience there, and happy with the welcome she'd received from so many great people.  But one young man seemed to make a distinctive impression...

We heard a lot about this handsome guy, athletic and smart, who was finishing his Master's Degree in Finance, and hoping to start law school the next year.   She joked that when she returned to Tulsa in August she and this particular guy might build a friendship... and eventually date and get married.  
A group retreat in early fall... Were they really
paying attention to anyone else?!  ;)

--It wasn't really a joke, and, although they were both cautious and prayerful about it as things developed, it couldn't have turned out closer to her wish!  

Playful banter

When Princess Bossy returned to Tulsa and their relationship developed over the weeks, all of her phone calls and Skype visits were filled with stories of the prince, accompanied by unbridled smiles, and exclamations of how great he is, and how happy she felt.  
Since he seemed to keep her floating on air, Helium seemed an appropriate princely moniker. 

The 6-foot tall prince came into the world at 1 pound 13 ounces, the smallest of 4 boys born within moments of each other to their Dutch immigrant, now US citizen, parents.  --In 1980 their father accepted a 2-year job assignment in Texas, and they thought it would be a fun, temporary adventure.  His mother jokes, "It's been a long 2 years!"  
Helium's footprints are at the top right

The prince's mom has many stories about the challenges of raising 4 such ingenious and sometimes rambunctious boys, who learned the concept of teamwork early on and could accomplish some amazing feats by the time they were toddlers.                                                                                                                                                                                                  
She was gracious in allowing me to share their birth announcement with you... Showing their tiny footprints and the bilingual message inside.

Telling his 'best joke'
When we all think of Prince Helium, although he has many other stellar qualities, we immediately think of his sparkling eyes in attempt at rapier wit.  We are well-used to his particular brand of humor, as it's almost identical to Hubby's, and we respond similarly... Good-humored eye-rolling and groans intermixed with the laughter.  --But not too much laughter lest either of them think too much of their cleverness.  ;-)  He has now figured out the response pattern, takes it all in stride, and doesn't let it curtail his good nature.  We are thankful for that, and we truly miss his fun contribution to the household.

This year the prince is in his second year of law school, doing quite well in the upper section of his class.  He also has a strong Christian faith that he exhibits in his daily walk, which guides his decisions and demeanor.  He is traditional  and conservative in morals and lifestyle, while recognizing and appreciating the strengths and talents of his head-strong and intelligent wife.  
He allows her to be the capable and independent-thinking woman and partner she is... also her need to debate and argue... But he also gives her the assurance that she has someone on her side who provides a soft place to land; someone to rely on when she needs it.  As a couple they put their faith in God and His plan for their lives.

Princess Bossy is fiercely interested in learning, reading, and discussing art, politics, faith, and all sorts of heady subjects.  She is also quite the sports fan and outdoors-woman, who could only admire a 'manly man,' who is physically active and has manual skills.  This always proved a hard combination for her to find... But Prince Helium is the whole package.  He loves learning, and likes to read and discuss.  
He's also very active, loving soccer, bicycling, gym workouts, and bouldering.  They camp, enjoy walks or long runs together, and while she loves to cook, he loves to help out, and, of course, eat the results!  

He is also an excellent brother to his younger siblings-in-law, joining in outdoor family games, and coaching Prince CuddleBunny on the finer points of soccer and helping him with a practice schedule.  He's of the stuff that fine husbands are made, and will also, we're sure, be an involved, active, and loving dad some day.

Our sons-in-law are the answers to years of prayer... Prayers that God would save and send His own carefully chosen lifelong partners for our daughters... Men with a heart for God, very especially for our girls, and for committing themselves to being the best husbands and fathers.  We feel greatly blessed.

2 down, and 6 to go!

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