The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. –Martin Luther King, Jr.
My oldest son, Nick, when he was in kindergarten, came home day after day telling me about his friend, Christian. When I happened upon this mysterious little guy’s mom at a school “movie night” I immediately introduced myself and told her that I sure as heck hoped she’d heard the name “Nick” at her house, because my kid was crazy about her son. When she assured me this was not new information to her, I just recall saying “Well, THANK GOD!” The two boys (and their mothers) became fast and lasting friends.
Meet Christian Daniels. When I first met this smart, earnest, and polite little sports lover, I knew immediately he was a high quality human being. It was obvious even at age 5. Seriously, CD just entered the world a kind, articulate little guy and these facts remain unchanged, as does his lifelong love for U of L sports teams.
Quick-witted, big-hearted and unflappable, Christian has always been both a hard worker and a high achieving student. He’s a natural leader, a quality which has been evident throughout his life. In grade school he was the point guard on the basketball team and the QB on the football field. In high school, he was captain of the basketball team (AND he was an IHSAA State Champion), and now he’s the top dog at his fraternity at Miami of Ohio. His peers have always respected him, because, quite frankly, he’s a respectable guy. It’s that simple.
Christian is faithful, a man of integrity, mature and self-confident. He has a positive attitude, and he’s a gentleman. He’s true to his word. If he tells you that he is going to do something, you can count on it. He has a high moral compass and he’s an honest and compassionate friend with a terrific sense of humor. I could not ask for a better young man to have in my house eating those pancakes he learned to cut LIKE A BEAST in my very own kitchen! (Ha? See what I did there CD?)
As a big brother, there just isn’t a finer example. Who else do you know at age 19 who makes extra trips to and from school so he can coach his little brother’s CYO team? I wish I could adequately describe to you the pure joy and pride on Malcolm’s face because his big brother was on that bench with him, coaching his team. That selflessness on CD’s part and for the benefit of all those little SLDM Cardinals will never be forgotten by his little brother, who truly worships him.
Last week, I got a beautiful note from CD. In it, he spent considerable time thanking me for the kindnesses shown to him over the years. It was classic Christian in tone, just positive and upbeat, brightening my day and spreading happiness, because he can. He looks for the good in others, and in a world filled with so many people who don’t take the time to do the same, Christian SHINES.
Happy 21st Birthday to you, CD! My life and the lives of all the Thieme family are so much richer because of your presence. What inspires me about you is the way your character shines, no matter the circumstances. The quote (above) that you shared with me in your note made me smile. You said it was one of your favorites, and I can see why. It fits you perfectly. LOVE YOU, KID.