To celebrate Shea's 24th birthday I thought I would share a story from his youth regarding something he truly loves--his guitar.
When Shea was a young man I insisted that he play a musical instrument. He had refused to play any instrument in the school band, or take piano lessons. So, in an effort to help him appreciate music I bought him an electric guitar for his 12th birthday and signed him up for guitar lessons. He was initially an uninspired music student. However, he was dutiful to practice--which is to say, when I would hound him, he would reluctantly practice. That is until one magical day, when Shea was practicing his guitar in the den and one of Sydney's very cute (and slightly older than Shea) girlfriends peeked into the den and exclaimed, "Shea, I didn't know you played the guitar?!" Embarrassed, Shea apologized, "Yeah, but I'm not very good yet." "I think you're great!", she gushed. I could see the magical wheels of opposite-sex-attraction-logic immediately and inescapably start to crank in Shea's head: This is a very hot girl. She likes boys who can play the guitar. I can play the guitar. If I can learn to really rock a guitar, hot girls will like me. From that moment, it was GAME ON with the guitar for Shea! Seriously, I don't ever again remember pleading with Shea to practice his guitar. He knew what was at stake--hot girls!
Shea was born 24 years ago today. He has been such a joy for our family. He is very motivated to succeed in life. He is well spoken and relates in a genuine fashion with others. Shea, like his mother, is an excellent listener, which makes him an excellent conversationalist.
As a member of the Honors Program at Utah Valley University, he works hard at his studies and has such a bright future ahead of him. We are anxious to see everything that life has in store for him. This past year he has been doing research for a psychology professor whose paper was chosen for presentation at an international conference in Stockholm, Sweden. Shea was invited to attend this conference as a reward for all of his hard work. To say we are pleased as punch would be an understatement.
I am proud of his successful completion of his mission to Raleigh, North Carolina and know that he worked hard as a missionary. In many ways serving a state-side mission is harder than serving in a foreign country. Shea worked hard and exhibited a great attitude. Since his return from his mission, he has been singularly dedicated to his studies, which gives us great confidence about this future, and his ability to earn a living and be an excellent provider for his family. He's such a winner and has been everything that any parent could possibly hope for in a son.
Despite the crazy hair and surly attitude of Shea's adolescence, at his core, he was always a very obedient and helpful young man. He earned his Eagle Scout (totally on his own) and did his assigned chores. And while Shea loathed some of the crazy adventures that I forced him into as a young man, one of my greatest joys is that he now wants to hang out with me, and that he actually looks forward to our amazing and physically challenging adventures. We started sailing lessons last year and are hopeful this summer will provide lots of opportunities for sailing, climbing and fishing, not to mention a very memorable trip to Stockholm to help Shea celebrate his commitment to academic excellence.
So, on this special day, it's time for a very Happy Birthday Shout Out to a handsome young man that still understands, the boy who can rock the guitar gets hot girls!