This is our godson Jackie G. You’re going to have to trust me on this — he normally looks far less terrifying. And far less terrorist.
Today is his twenty-second birthday.
Jack’s normally a happy, handsome young man but this photo was taken after he came down with some ungodly third world ailment while studying in Morocco. (Why he was in Morocco is another story worthy of a blog item, but we won’t get into it at this point.) Weeks went by, Jack got sicker and sicker, and eventually had to be evacuated back to the United States.
When I saw this photo my first reaction was, “Holy crap, man, you look like a terrorist.” His response? “I was detained and questioned when I got back to the United States.”
Luckily, he’s a tough kid and in tremendous physical condition. He got a dose of western medical care and an even bigger dose of mom’s home cooking and completely recovered.
I have about a thousand favorite Jackie G stories, but here’s one to celebrate his birthday:
Back when he was about four and his sister Stella was three, they were upstairs taking naps. Mom and dad were downstairs. All of a sudden Jack appeared at the top of the stairs and hollered, “There’s no reason for you to come up here.”
That, of course, was all mom and dad needed to hear to know that they did, in fact, need to go upstairs. Immediately.
When they reached the top of the stairs there was Jack, scissors in hand, and little sister Stella with what can only be described as a very creative new hair style courtesy of her big brother.
Here we are all these years later and whenever Jamie or I screw something up we say, “There’s no reason for you to come up here.”
Happy birthday, Jackie G. We love you. And we’re pretty damn sure you’ll have lots of other quotable things to day in the years to come. But none of them will be any funnier than “There’s no reason for you to come up here.”