Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ode to Roscoe, Part Deux

Poor little Haley is ensconced in her room coughing her lungs out (she’s been instructed that the more she rests, the sooner she’ll get better), Jesse is playing at a friend’s, and the boys are at school, making this my number one primo opportunity to get some work done. But instead I must document some of the wonderfulness of 13-year-old Roscoe.

First you must know that Roscoe was an almost neurotically sensitive baby (a situation exacerbated, no doubt, by his inexperienced and doting parents). Then he became an almost clinically out of it first grader, a bullied third grader, and an incoherent sixth grader. He’s been a certified genius all along, but his is the genius of Swiss cheese—delicious and wonderful, but bearing certain holes. To this day he doesn’t know his address, can’t answer a direct question, and has no idea what you just said.

All this to highlight for you the wonderful magic that makes him at 13—an age liable to be the most awful of all—a pure delight. The other morning I stumbled downstairs, barely coherent, barely able to see, and there was Roscoe. Showered, dressed, breakfasted. He had just finished reading the scriptures and was doing sit-ups. At 7:10.

Exhibit A: Saturday morning

Mark and I have decreed that no one may enter our bed or request breakfast on Saturday morning until 8:00. (Decadent, I know.) This is possible because Roscoe nips upstairs to let Jesse out of his room and keeps track of him. “Gah-ko” loves his Jesse, and Jess loves “Gah-ko.”

Exhibit B: A growing seed

When Roscoe’s church leaders tell him he should read his scriptures every day or be a peacemaker at home, he listens. Actually, he’s reading the scriptures morning and night and has a goal to finish the Book of Mormon by Christmas. When there’s contention over, say, who gets the best seat in the van, Roscoe is often the one to step forward to make the sacrifice to keep peace. He gives heartfelt prayers that aren't just the unconscious litany of the other kids. We can see that he is on a conscious campaign to live the gospel more fully, which is a real blessing to our family. He’s planted the seed, he’s experimenting upon the word, and I believe his little testimony is sending down strong roots.

Exhibit C: Fitness

Roscoe does an hour of karate twice a week. He attends a teen fitness class at the rec center twice a week. He does sit-ups in the front room and lifts weights in the garage. Because he’s all about self improvement.

Exhibit D: Money management

Roscoe has a little check register from an old checkbook in which he tracks income and expenses. He manages it down to the penny, makes wise spending decisions, and has volunteered to clean the bathrooms for me every Friday for extra income.

Exhibit E: Homework

Roscoe decided he wanted more computer time. We warned him that more computer time could hurt his grades. He devised a plan whereby he logs onto the school’s web site every Monday to check his grades on each assignment from the previous week. For each class with A scores from the previous week, he gets X minutes of extra computer time. He gets what he wants, we get what we want.


  1. I second the motion of Roscoe's fabulousness. His love for Jesse is very evident. And his helfulness in the time we spent with him this summer just totally blew me away. He is truly an exceptional child.

  2. I love this! He is very impressive. I love how cute he is with Jesse and even Zach! Isn't it true that our prayers really show what kind effort we are putting into the relationship we have with the Savior. How neat that he already see the importance of this. kudos to his parents as well!

  3. Daggone kid is an inspiration to us all. Reminds me of his dad.

  4. I second Joe's comment, but add that he reminds me of his mother, too. All those struggles early on created a kid who knows what he wants out of life and how to get it.