The world calls him by many names. MacKieson, Mac, Big Mac, Mac & Cheese, Kisu, and even MacKenzie (if you are hard of hearing). If you are family, it's usually Kieson, but if you are his grandmother, MacKieson is the rule. As for me, his father, it's usually Bud or Buddy. And for Jesus, well, He gets to call my boy "chosen" (1 Peter 2:9).
Rarely does a week pass that my Buddy and I are not compared to one another. People - complete strangers mind you - will see the two of us together; do that 'head tilted to the side' thing; and curiously say with pointed fingers, "is that your dad?" or "is he your son?" Lately, even when Kieson and I are not out and about together, I will still have people say to me, "Don't I know you from somewhere... have we met before?" My reply calms their curiosity as I ask, "Do you know a guy named Kieson? That's my boy." It's fun to see their non-verbals as they connect the father & son dots.
Yep, he's my boy and I love him so very much. We walk alike, we talk alike, we look alike, and often times, we think alike. He has been called my 6'1" 'mini-me.' People will even comment on our similar mannerisms and that we resemble each other with how we share stories.
It has been said that we have the gift of always wanting to help others in need and that we have a natural ability for making people feel at ease. So, that's cool I guess.
We care deeply for those close to us and we can be fiercely loyal. We tend to have our hearts hurt because we choose to be led by them. We are problem fixers at our core and we ALWAYS have an opinion on how things should be done... or at least be done better (which mind you is not a gift when used at each other).
Often, Kieson will wear his emotions on his sleeve, while I tend to be more even keeled. Regardless, you can always tell when something is wrong with him because the air in the room changes. Like his older sister, Kieson can shift the atmosphere of where he walks by default. I am kinda jealous of this. I think it must be one of his Christian X-Men mutant powers. When this power is used for the good of others, it is simply amazing to watch in action; but when used for himself and his needs, it is flat out dangerous and gutting to witness. While he is getting better at honing this ability as he matures, more sculpting is still needed. But, he will get there.
I love my boy's smile. When Kieson flashes that grin, I have literally seen people change their moods right before my eyes. He also is not shy... at all... as in never. I have seen him take the stage in front of hundreds of people to give a speech and hold captive every ear in the house at will. Whether it is a sermon or a speech, a microphone in his hand can become an extension of his arm and within a few moments everyone will be paying attention. Before the switch occurs though, I say quietly to myself, "here it comes... watch this!" And then BOOM, he turns it on. It truly is a thing of beauty to see it in action. People just listen to him and for whatever reason he has been able to do this ever since he was a kid. It's just a gift.
I want the best for my boy, even if this involves letting him make mistakes. In my opinion, this is the toughest part of parenting. It is always very difficult to see your child driving into a clear and evident pothole of life, then proactively advise them to turn, but still see them stay their course. Yes, insert a deep "sigh" here. Like me, he is stubborn and thick-headed, which explains a lot. As such, I just have to let failure be the best teacher for him sometimes, even though I just don't like knowing this instructor. His mistakes have hurt, some very deeply, but with each misstep we are reminded of our dire need for Jesus as Savior. Through it all, Kieson is resilient and I admire this that about him.
I have high hopes for my son, as I suspect most dads do. Kieson is covered in a spirit of excellence and favor. As such, I can only teach and encourage him towards the destiny that is upon him, while also waiting patiently for it to be fulfilled. My father was tough on me and I suppose I tend to be tough on my boys. My parenting is based in love and I believe they know this. I know God gave them to me for a reason, so I hope to give them back to Him well used.
I have always been Kieson's biggest fan and I suppose I always will. He overwhelms with his gifts, his heart, and his joy. When I look at him, I see a prince among boys. He has a royal priesthood of great destiny upon him... and I simply cannot wait to see what he does for God's Kingdom. Until then, I guess I will keep trying to get him there... and get there he will. But, until that happens, I am just gonna' love him.
Happy Birthday, son. I am so very proud of you.