Sunday, December 31, 2006

Jamin's Alphabet

It happened one afternoon . . . 4, maybe 5 years ago. Jamin was home from college for the summer and was unusually just hanging around the house not really doing much of anything. I forget the circumstances that surrounded the event that I am about to explain but I imagine that some of us were gathered in the living room just watching tv, reading or talking. J.B. walked through and seated himself down right next to the bowl of pretzels that Mom always had conviently located for "walk-by munching."

And so he began; just snacking at first until suddenly through an uncalculated bite a letter of the alphabet appeared. Thus, the challenge arose. Could he infact recreate the whole English alphabet by nibbling away at pretzels? The idea was his and his alone. Never being one to back away from possiblity, Jamin embarked on this quest.

I will never forget the look he gave each pretzel as he picked it up and studied it carefully ensuring its quality for the purpose that he had in mind. He approached each letter almost mathmatically trying to figure out which parts needed to go and which needed to stay. And then carefully, ever SO carefully he would bite into it with the precision that only his perfectly straight set of teeth could provide making you wonder if all of those years of dental care had lead up to this one moment.

I'll admit, I doubted. And so after awhile I tired of merely watching his efforts and retired to my room. Occasionally I would hear his grunts of frustration (the only way I ever heard him express anger) or the occasional "Ah, Man!" through clentched teeth when the shape fell apart on the last bite.

He must have been there over an hour never moving from his spot on the couch. He would not leave his post until his task was complete. I don't know how many pretzels he ended up consuming that afternoon just to make those 26 letters but I do remember noticing that the munching pile had significantly decreased in the bowl.

What I do remember though is that when the call came that dinner was ready I headed downstairs and there it was in plain view. You couldn't miss it. He had done it and he was proud. I think that the pretzels were stale by the time that he reluctantly allowed us to throw them away.

He knew it was silly, of course. But, he also knew that he had accomplished something that he set out to do and he took pride in it. That was Jamin. Always! Whether pretzels, or papers, websites, or languages he set out to do the best he could and didn't shy from ridicule in the process. You see he was doing it to prove to himself that he could and he always did it amazingly well.

And so without further ado I present to you Jamin's pretzel alphabet:

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