And so it begins. Luke received his first college acceptance. Today, the University of Denver sent him an acceptance letter stating that he is recognized as a Chancellor’s Scholar. So, I’m going to take a moment to shine a light on my son, not because I want to brag (although I kind of do) but because I’ve never met anyone like him.
Luke has always been a hard worker and a helper. Despite having been diagnosed with severe dyslexia in third grade, he has found ways to rise above. He started fourth grade at a first grade reading level. Reading was hard for him, but he worked at it. A lot. Instead of shying away from reading, he made it his job to overcome his dyslexia. He did such a good job that the only way you can tell now that he is dyslexic is his reading speed. He is a slow reader, but he is exceptionally good at it now. At the end of his junior year, when his IQ and skills were last tested, Luke was reading at graduate school level. Luke went from barely being able to read Magic Tree House books with help in third grade to reading The Iliad and The Odyssey the summer before his freshman year. Luke never quits.
He is organized, focused, and structured in his approach to everything. He needs 25 solo volunteer hours to graduate in June. He is already beyond those hours. He has a project due for Western Civ this Thursday. He created 26 slides for it and finished it this afternoon. There is no such thing as minimal effort from him. He does nothing half-assed. In eighth grade, he became an ambassador for his school, giving tours to prospective students and their parents. He became a lead ambassador his sophomore year. He’s the president of his school’s National Honor Society chapter and has served on the Student Senate as an officer as well. He ran both track and cross-country. Luke submitted five college applications. The first three were due November 1st. He had those completed three weeks in advance. He went ahead and submitted the two that weren’t due until January 15th at the same time.
But, Luke’s effort doesn’t simply apply to school. He is like this all the time. When he makes his mind up to do something, he goes for it. He decided a while back that he wanted to be a better singer. So, he took voice lessons for a year. He was struggling with anxiety (pursuant to his work ethic and built-in need to excel) and started therapy to work on it. Despite not being thrilled at first with having to admit he needed some assistance, he grew to appreciate therapy and has been going regularly for years. He has so valued the experience that he is currently considering earning a PsyD (Doctor of Psychology) degree so he provide therapy to others. He contributes at home without complaint. And at the end of his day, he says good night to us and heads to his room to do some free reading, spending upwards of an hour on that each night to unwind.
I have to admit the most fun part of all of this for me is seeing Luke’s hard work pay off. Two years of middle school and four years of high school with honors classes and straight A grades and tonight, for the first time, he seemed satisfied with his efforts.
Luke has taught me so much. He has always been unstoppable. He has self-confidence to spare, but it’s his work ethic that makes him who he is. Luke has taught me there’s no point in underestimating yourself, and the only thing that can hold you back is you. For this reason, Luke is limitless. He will reach his goals, even if he has to use a machete to cut his own path to get there. I have no doubts or concerns about his ability to do anything he sets his mind to.
We had Luke Skywalker in mind when we named our Luke. It was a good way to go. As it turns out, our Luke, like his namesake, wields a lot of power. Unlike Luke Skywalker, though, our Luke didn’t need Yoda to tell him, “Do or do not. There is no try.” “Try” is not a word in this kid’s vocabulary. He’s got Jedi power.