Joey is a High School Graduate!
We are so proud of Joey's accomplishments. We are so proud of his drive, his perseverance, his tenacity, his love of life, his passion for learning, his confidence, his leadership abilities, his spirit, his independence and his compassion.
We're really going to miss seeing your face every day, Joey!
When you were 0
you had chubby little feet and hands
deep brown, thoughtful eyes
and hair that refused to be tamed.
When you were 1
you walked proud and smiled big
and started to show your stubborn side.
When you were 2
you talked so much
and asked so many intelligent questions
I thought perhaps I would soon not be able to keep up with you
and I was right.
When you were 3
you demanded preschool class begin with a science lesson
or you weren't really interested in going anymore
you refused to learn to swim
and you painted me the most beautiful flower pot for Mother's Day.
When you were 4
you were surrounded by adoring female fans
and when you wanted to learn to play the piano
we bought you a piano and you practiced every day.
When you were 5
you learned to ride a bike without training wheels
you blew us away at your first piano recital and
you started learning Japanese.
When you were 6
you learned to read
but you still loved it when I read stories to you
and you taught yourself Chess on the computer.
When you were 7
you visited OMSI and learned about Dinosaurs
you came home and recited your whole day to us, verbatim
you crashed your scooter at Willamette Park and chipped your front tooth
and you visited Japan for the very first time.
When you were 8
you started playing soccer "with the boys"
and this was a big day
you taught us that it is important to be patient, kind
and understanding of all people
even when they aren't being so nice.
When you were 9
you showed us you were a leader
by teaching computer class when the teacher didn't show up
you started art lessons
and you asked to play competitive tennis
for which we drove you all over the state.
When you were 10
you started violin lessons
you decided in earnest that you wanted to be an artist
and you painted the most beautiful paintings
that I cherish and that are hanging all over the house.
When you were 11
you traveled to Japan for the 3rd time and gave a speech in Japanese
in front of hundreds of people at the Kobe Sumaura School Music Festival
you played baseball on a team with your Brother, coached by your Dad
you were a pretty awesome second baseman.
When you were 12
you started middle school, continued with art lessons and tennis lessons
you started pottery lessons, you took guitar lessons
you asked a girl to a dance and she said no
and you figured out that you could be a great student, be loved by your teachers
and your peers all at the same time.
When you were 13
you dressed up like a woman for an oral presentation
just to get the class' attention
you gained a real passion for sailing on your birthday trip to Nevis
you got up in front of friends, family and strangers
chanted at your Bar Mitzvah ceremony
and you were amazing
in celebration of your accomplishment you planned a birthday party
with whipped cream pies, sack races and apple martini's
that will not soon be forgotten.
When you were 14
you spent 2 1/2 weeks in Japan for your Research Residency
you wrapped up middle school having been on the honor roll
every single term
you decided you wanted to go to Catlin Gabel for high school
you took tests and had interviews and got in all on your own
you ended your 9 year run of piano lessons
and we went to our last piano recital.
When you were 15
you went into Catlin Gabel as if you had been there your whole life
you charmed your teachers
you were voted co-President of the Freshman Class by your peers
you traveled to Turkey
and only took an old broken down Pentax 35mm film camera with you
you took some of the most beautiful photos
you got a steady girlfriend.
When you were 16
you had your first solo art show at the Bornowski Art Gallery
you nurtured your newfound love of the outdoors
by taking multiple hiking, biking and backpacking trips
you went to your first prom
you attended summer art school
at the Pacific Northwest College of Art
you asked for a vintage banjo from eBay for your birthday
and of course we got it for you
you taught yourself to play the banjo.
When you were 17
you dragged us to every street market in London on a
memorable family trip to England and Scotland
you continued to awe us with your wonderful oil painting
you continued your school government duties as co-President
of the Junior Class, you planned the prom
you became even more independent
you put your love of public transportation aside and started driving
more and spending less and less time at home
you started thinking about college.
When you were 18
you spent another school year as class co-President
you spent a great deal of time applying to colleges
you won an art scholarship
you got a pretty horrific case of senioritis
you made a very difficult college choice decision
you stopped studying altogether
you worked your ass off at Pok Pok for your Senior Project
you outgrew high school
You are an inspiration to us Joseph Benjamin Lubitz.
We love you.
.... and if anyone thinks that buckets of tears weren't shed while typing this, they would be wrong! I need to stop thinking about this kid leaving home in a couple of months and just pretend like it's not going to happen, until it does.