My 9 year old son Jack took his big field trip to San Juan Capistrano yesterday. His 4th grade class took a bus to the train station in Fullerton, and rode the train (he got to sit on the top floor too) to the Mission. They visited the Mission and a nearby French restaurant (he is learning French in school so this was a double whammy learning). He was required to wear his dress uniform and was permitted to bring a Gameboy or other for the travel time and a snack. So where is the shocking part? First he told me he did not need to take his Gameboy- he wanted to ‘look at things’ while on the train. I nearly fainted from this sign of maturity. When I picked him up from school after his long adventure, he was eager to show me his souvenir. I had given him $30 which I knew was a lot- but he did just get straight A’s (okay one little tiny B+) on his report card and I wanted to reward him. I expected him to get a Mission Bell or a book with the money. But what did he get? He got one present for me, one for his dad, one for his brother and finally one for himself. I was so touched thinking about my little man in the touristy gift shop diligently picking out a gift for each of his family members and carefully doing the math to be certain he had enough money to pay for it all. And what did the angel select? A lovely crystal paper-weight for me, a neat plaque for dad and for him and his brother? ………GUNS. Yes. GUNS. Okay they are rubber band guns- but still not my favorite thing. Ordinarily- and if I had been there with him I would have said ‘no-way Jose’…..but I wasn’t there…and he could get whatever he wanted and he knew it. That night as I put him to bed, I said ‘you could have spent all the money on just you, ya know’…and he looked at me like I was nuts and said ‘why would I do that mom?’…..man I love that kid. He is also a chip off the old block (I am the block in this scenario)…the photo is one taken by him that day…..he said “mom it is really pretty there- you would like it”…………..right now I like him. A LOT.