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..: Kwame, Keeper of the Legacy
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"Kwame, concentrate," I say. "Pay attention."

And he does. His little sock monkey hands touch the game controls, and his head scrunches tightly to watch every movement on the television. Occasionally he glances up at my wife KJ and I to make sure we are looking. We watch him play the videogame, and we are proud.

Kwame is a little over one year old now. KJ received him as a strange Christmas present a couple years ago. From me. He has the privilege of telling his friends that he is well travelled, especially coming from the exotic far off country of the Amazon.com.

So mostly, Kwame has a bad attitude. He is curious, and loves to be with the both of us. He likes many of the same things I like, and my wife frequently reminds me to include him in my hobbies. Over the year, Kwame has become quite a videogame fanatic. We aren't sure what happened, but my guess is overexposure to the driving games. One time, he played a 72-hour Le Mans race on our PlayStation (at least that's Kwame's version of the story). He held on to that controller for three days straight. When he was done, he was exhausted.



I don't understand him, or his desire to try everything that KJ and I are trying. He has a tremendous love for life and adventure. More so than either of us. We do what we can to make his life interesting, but he finds methods of his own. Like the time we found out he was loansharking to the other animals in our family, but that is another story.



He is exhausting to care for, but we do it anyway. He learns more all the time. KJ asked me today if we were leaving our legacy in Kwame and the birds and the stuffed animals, instead of in biological children. I think so. Kwame will grow up and mature, learning to balance enthusiasm with self-control and maturity. We haven't yet spoken to him about faith and about God; for now we model that to him.

In fact, he's already begun to try and change how he is perceived by the other animals in our home. Months ago, he declared to us that he was now "Casual Monkey." Kwame got it in his head that the key to maturity was being poised, and in the art of propely reclining. So he does that whenever people visit our home now. He tries so hard.



Ah, but it is Kwame's pride that keeps him down. We can't take him anywhere. He is an attention hog. He wants fame, fortune, money. A few months ago, we shot a short QuickTime movie with him in it. Man, he craved the glory. This is the email Kwame sent me after we posted his first movie on the Internet:

"me kwame!
famus!
me!
movie star!
me!
Mm.
me!
famus!

smell good! you stink! me good!"

Can that be good? A healthy self-image is good, yes, but Kwame is sometimes a handful. At some point, I'll have to ask Pastor Kev for advice. Kwame thinks he's old enough to drive real cars now, and that will quickly become an issue as he gets smarter about those kinds of things.

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