You know, Summer vacation for kids is really not that long. 1o weeks? In the whole scheme of things, not all that much time.
So how is it...why is it that it's not until school resumes that you realize how much your kids have changed? Another school year, rites of passage crossed - and I'm left realizing how much all our lives are changing.
Of course this Summer provided all of my family a dramatic change from what we've known. They've not intinerated as much as I have. They're adapting well, and for that I'm thankful.
Giving them the gift of being able to stay in school with the same classmates as long as possible, even up to gradutation, is a goal of mine for them. It is something I didn't have growing up, and I always long to know what longevity in formative relationships means over the course of time. I observe that in people I've known and find it appealing, bordering on something I grieve never knowing.
Both Andrew and Christopher have sets of buddies they've lived with through school over 8 years now, and they are tightly knit.
At this point in their journey, so much is changing so fast, and my head is spinning trying to cope with the reality that my boys have fully come into their own.
Andrew is a junior. This week alone we ordered his senior ring and letterman's jacket. Wow! He drives himself to school and travels up the road to Mason to visit his girlfriend. That's right, his girlfriend. So I'm dealing with the realization that he's growing up, AND that among the things I've purchased for him this week that some girl will be wearing them instead of him. When I was asked if a girl wore my stuff my answer was swift - "we're not talking about me!" Never much for team sports, he has devoted his physical pursuits to karate. He is one belt away from Black belt, and "he's on a quest to be his best...Asai."
He's my horn player. Literally...he's playing the trumpet I played from 8th grade into college. That life fits him well, and I know the excitment he feels when the band is on the march.
God bless the boy...he's endured the initial mistakes of first time parents and it seems he's come out fairly well adjusted. Whew!
Christopher is in the eighth grade and I have to remind myself that he is younger than his brother. He has grown so much in the past year it is stunning. He's always been our jock, and now he's maturing into that role. You look at him and believe he is the athlete he aspires to become. He's a statuesque and stunningly handsome boy. And he is going to make an impact in life...don't doubt that.
And then there's Jack. Our second grader. "Dad, you don't have to wake me up and help me get dressed for school, I can do that myself." Others observe how "bright" Jack is. And it's true.
"You should get him tested."
"Why?" I ask..."I'm the one being tested by him every day!"
They're all coming into their own, and I'm reminded of how blessed I am.
Andrew does this thing every night, even now and he's almost 17. He'll come to me, put his head against my chest and tell me good night. And then he'll say--
"I love you."
I'll say, "I love you, too, son."
and he'll say, "I love you more."
and I'll say, "nope, not possible."
Last night he asked me "you always say that, and I don't get it."
I said, "when you have your own, you will."
"You're probably right," he said, "but I'm not planning on knowing that for quite a long time."
"Good plan, son. Good plan."