Jonathan at 7
At the time I'm writing this (10/17/10), our Jonathan is now seven-years-old. And an absolute delight, most days.
When were not on the road, Jonathan helps out at the various urban outreaches to the poor were involved with. He buzzes about helping serve food, pour coffee, sweep the floor and most importantly, Jonathan brings to the atmosphere the innocent, fun-loving nature of, well, a seven-year-old.
A Schriner family classic, if you will, happened recently with Jonathan on a cold night in December in Cleveland. We were at a rather crowded drop-in center for the homeless one particular Friday evening. I was going back and forth from the kitchen serving coffee to various people clustered throughout the room.
On a pass by a group of people sitting around a small table, I heard the gravely words: "GO FISH!" It came from a guy who had the stature of a linebacker for the Cleveland Browns. His one eye was cocked and intently staring down at our Jonathan holding playing cards in one hand, as he reached for the discard pile with the other. It was such an endearing scene, I can't tell you.
In talks we give, Liz often says that Jonathan doesn't see poverty, he doesn't see homelessness, he just sees into peoples' eyes.
Now when Jonathan isn't playing Fish, he's often playing some kind of sport.
At the basketball court at the Rec. Center in Cleveland, Jonathan is known as "Little Nash." (That is, as in the NBA point-guard Steve Nash.) Jonathan is quite a little dribbler and can hold his own on the court. This is because he is forever trying to keep up with his older brother and sister at the courts we regularly stop at all around the nation.
Jonathan has shown some grit, too, on the gridiron. In a football league, also at the Cleveland Rec. Center, among kids mostly bigger and older than Jonathan, he played linebacker and got in some pretty good licks. So good, in fact, that when the coach found out we couldn't stay for the whole season because of an upcoming campaign tour, he smiled and said: "I'll put Jonathan up until the season is over."
As Jonathan looks into peoples' eyes, I often look into his. And its almost as if I'm looking into a lot of innocent little 7 (6, 5, 4)-year-old eyes. And they're counting on us adults. Counting on us to make it a safe world for them, a more wholesome world, an environmentally clean world... Liz and I often say were running for president as "concerned parents" from the Midwest.
Jonathan at 3
My name is Jonathan Charles Schriner. I am three years old. I am also Daddy's 'driving buddy' when we're out traveling America. While Mummy home schools at the table in our motor home, I sit in the passenger seat helping Daddy spot big yellow diggers and old fashioned cars. This is a really important job, Daddy tells me. My favorite places on the road are truck stops where Daddy walks me around so we can look at "18-wheelers" and talk to real truck drivers.
When we are campaigning on street corners during our "whistle-stops," I like to help pass out flyers to people. Everyone is so friendly to me. Sometimes I try to encourage Daddy by saying: "Good for you Average Joe President!" Daddy always smiles when I say that.
When I am home at "Cleveland in Ohio" (that's how I say it), I like to wrestle with my brother Joseph, color with Mummy, build Legos and go to the Old Fashion Hot Dog Place around the corner with Daddy. We get fries there and I talk to my friend Shawn the dishwasher.
Oh, and I love books too. My favorite author is Dr. Seuss, and my favorite books are "Cat in the Hat" and "I Had Trouble Getting to Solla Sollew."
See ya... --Jonathan
Photo by Calvin Kimborough
photo by Janet Hanson RURALNORTHWEST.COM