My Boy

At my son’s school each week the class celebrates one of the students with what is called “all about me” week. It’s a fun idea and a great opportunity for kids in the class to share their interests and get acquainted with one another over the course of the year.  It also provides an opportunity for parents to encourage their child by writing a letter about what they most appreciate in their child. This letter is read by the teacher to the class.

This week was dedicated to my son, it was a “all about Jonathan” week. The following letter I wrote was read to the class yesterday is here posted for any family and friends who are interested. This is a letter about my precious boy, my firstborn son, my baseball buddy, Jonathan:

February 26, 2009

Hello, 2nd grade class.

This is Mr. Reinke, Jonathan’s dad. So, this week is “all about Jonathan” week, and you want me to share things I appreciate about my son. Hmm, let me see.

As you know, Jonathan loves baseball. At home he likes to flip through black and white photographs of old baseball players like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, and Cy Young. Jonathan collects baseball cards, too. His binder of baseball cards is completely full (and weighs about 20 pounds). He likes to learn about baseball and has read several long chapter books about the game and some of its greatest players.

Speaking of baseball, Jonathan and I attend as many Major League baseball games as possible, especially when our favorite team, the Boston Red Sox, travels to Baltimore. Jonathan loves to arrive early at Camden Yards, snaking his way through the crowd with his baseball glove on his hand, seeking to find a good place in the front row of the center field bleachers—which provides a good view of the players swinging at batting practice, and the best chance of catching a ball. A few times Jonathan has come close to catching a warm-up home run ball. Mostly, it’s just fun to watch one of Jonathan’s favorite power hitters on the Boston Red Sox—“Big Papi” David Ortiz—smack practice pitches into orbit, baseballs that that rocket into the air and over our heads and deep into the bleachers.

And Jonathan is a skilled baseball player himself. When he pitches his fastball, the catcher’s mitt pops loudly. Maybe he will grow up to be a pitcher. He can hit the ball hard, too, but not quite as far as Big Papi. But he is the power hitter on his little league team. I call him “Little Papi.”

Jonathan also loves to be out in nature, to be buried deep in the woods—so deep you cannot see anything but trees, rocks, and the sky. I once watched Jonathan hike up the slippery rock face of Cunningham Falls with a walking stick and a heavy backpack. It was quite a feat. And he really loves to hike along the Billy Goat Trail along the Potomac river in Great Falls National Park. I have a picture of Jonathan standing on a huge bolder with his hand over his eyes, shielding the sun from his face, and looking off into the distance. What the picture does not show is that the large boulder was close to the edge of a tall rock-faced cliff edge that dropped straight down about 100 feet into the river. Like a cougar, finding his way through the woods comes naturally to Jonathan. I appreciate this about him.

Speaking of animals, Jonathan likes to wrestle me in the living room. In the past I could take him down to the carpet for an easy pin, but over the past two years Jonathan has become much more of a challenge—now able to outsmart my tactics a bit, and strong enough to break loose from my pins. Eventually I can always win, but I doubt my winning streak will last too much longer.

I admit this next thing is a bit random. Jonathan’s favorite drink from Starbucks is white hot chocolate. When we are not playing or watching baseball, wrestling, or hiking, Jonathan and I bring 20 books with us to Starbucks and we will spread those books out on one of those little round tables, drink our drinks, and read for a couple hours. Not as exciting as standing on the edge of a cliff, but I really appreciate this about my son.

But as much as I appreciate all these things about my son, I most appreciate Jonathan’s love of Jesus. A long time ago, in a clothing store at a mall, Jonathan was playing with a little boy whose parents were also shopping. I overheard him say to this boy, “But toys will not make you happy. Only Jesus makes you happy.” Jonathan is willing to tell other boys and girls about Jesus because he loves Jesus himself.

Jonathan is always willing and eager to pray to God for his friends. Jonathan is quick to pray for you—his classmates and teacher. He prays for his classmates at night when we gather as a family, and he prays each morning for Miss D as we drive in to school. I love this about my son.

I could go on with things I appreciate about Jonathan.

We love him.


Mr. Reinke

19 thoughts on “My Boy

  1. Excellent, Tony!!!

    Sadly, sentiments such as these are uncommon among father nowadays, even in Christian circles. It is obvious you not only love your son very much (duh) but also that you know him well and are a big part of his life.

    This seems like a no-brainer but too many fathers, even Christian fathers are not as involved in their children’s lives as they should be.

    I think it would be great if letters like this and the obvious knowledge and interaction behind them were simply old hat because every dad was like this. (Of course, they will never be old hat to the one writing.)

    Thanks for sharing this, Tony, because it gives me encouragement to continue striving to be the right kind of father myself. I also hope other Christian fathers will be encouraged by this to play a greater part in their children’s lives as they guide them toward the kingdom.

    Grace and Peace to you,
    Michael R. Jones

  2. Thanks for the comment Michael! … Boaly: My son read the letter to the woman who kindly drives him home after school. He said to her “I will keep this letter forever.” And then at dinner he told me that as soon as he has enough money he will buy a safe where he will store the letter. He was moved. What a joy! Thanks for asking! Tony

  3. My only concern is that you are allowing your son to be a Red Sox fan. But, at the very least, you don’t allow him to root the Yankees.

    Paul S.
    (Die Hard Rays Fan)

  4. As a fellow father of boys, this was wonderful to read! Jonathan sounds like a pretty amazing boy. God is good. Thanks for giving us this window into your family.

  5. That is a moving tribute to your son. May God’s grace continue to be evident in his life as he grows. May God’s grace be with you as you seek to train in him the path of righteousness.

  6. Dude, the letter…then your son’s response…makes me weep. You’ve inspired me to write my boy his own letter. Good job.

  7. Great letter, Tony – thanks for sharing this with us! Jonathan is a blessing to all of us and I know he’ll cherish this letter.

  8. I was so excited when I saw the Minnesota Twins hat, only to have my enthusiasm dashed by learning that Jonathan’s favorite team is the Boston Red Sox! ;-)

    But the closing paragraphs made my world right again!

  9. Tony,
    Thank you for sharing with us about your son! What a joy and challenge to raise one who will carry our names to the next generation.
    I too have a son whose name is Jonathan.He is three yrs old. He was abandoned at birth in a field in the high Andes. The Lord graciously has given us the opportunity to not only have him as our son but to give raise him in the knowledge of the Lord. Oh that us fathers would see the value of time we have now as it is so obvious that you are seeing.
    The snap-shot of your son is inspiring to say the least.
    Thank you!

  10. Hi Tony,

    Thanks for sharing such kind and grace-filled words about your son! Truly exciting that you guys are both Red Sox fans. I have three young children, who are all Red Sox fans!

    Your letter is very inspiring. You are doing a great job pointing out the evidences of God’s grace in his life.

    Lord, give us eyes to see you at work!

    Keep up the good work on the blog!

    Thanks Tony!

  11. Class! I dunno if school will do this when my son’s older but i’m making a note to myself when he’s alot older (he’s 22 months at the minute) to write a note such as this!

  12. An absolutely beautiful letter. Every child would love to know that their parent ‘gets’ them. I’m sure Jonathan was truly moved that you do which will greatly impact the man that he will become. What a gift you gave him! The Lord bless you both.

  13. Thanks for posting this. Very inspiring and a great testimony to the love that Christ can bring to the relationship between father and child!

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