This week we celebrated Ty’s 15th birthday.  While Ty seemed to be in a lot of thought of his newfound task of learning to drive, and what the future holds, I found myself reminiscing about the last 16 years.

Rachel and I spent a lot of time thinking about what to name our first born.  We considered family names, bible names, and popular ‘new’ names.  Ultimately, we rested on Tyler.

Tyler, or tile layer, was considered an occupational name for a laborer with some specific skills.  Tyler comes from a long line of hard workers.  His great-grandfather AJ, whom he didn’t get the opportunity to meet, was a roofer (tile layer), who worked tirelessly to provide for a family of seven.  Not only did he get up early to work on roofs before the Texas sun could get to them, but he also worked a ranch that produced crops, cattle, chicken and eggs, pecans and peaches.  Skilled in the artistry of graftage, Grandaddy seemed to know something about everything there is to husbandry.  His hardworking was matched by none, except maybe his wife, Elizabeth.

Ty’s other great grandfather, Jack, has served his country, worked as a power lineman and pole setter, and has also worked a ranch all his life.  Jack is skilled in welding, and can make anything work, knowledgeable about every tool and accoutrement.

These men’s tenacious drive to work hard and to never stop learning has allowed them to provide for their families, and afford a future for their children.  The character they possess has been passed on to their children, and a legacy that has also been passed on to Ty.  While Tyler isn’t a common family name, its meaning of hard work is a family characteristic.

Ty' and his learner's permit.

Ty’s Learner’s Permit

I am so proud to see that the hopes and aspirations I had for my unborn son almost 16 years ago have come to fruition, as I see him commit himself to service to his family and others, double down on his schoolwork, and give nothing short of his all to each endeavor he takes.  I love to see the legacy that my grandparents have passed on is still living in him.  He continues to progress in study of his martial art, Tang Soo Do, working hard in advanced classes in hopes of taking College Credit AP courses soon, taking on a Medical Neuroscience course, and all the while seeking to stand apart from the world, and be/go who/where God would have him be/go.  It is not easy.

I had hoped that he would be hard working and have a heart of service.  God has blessed him with a great deal more, though. His intelligence, loyalty, integrity, and learnedness make him a great young man.  I knew a fraction of what he knows about life, when I was the same age.  I’m excited to see what is in store for him.  I’ve moved from hoping for him to anxious anticipation for what great things lie in store for him.

God is good, and the young man I see on the potter’s wheel is good too.