“What it's like to be a parent:
It's one of the hardest things you'll ever do
but in exchange it teaches you
the meaning of unconditional love.”
~ Nicholas Sparks, The Wedding
Today marks his First Last.
The first day of his last year in high school.
I suppose with everything else that's been happening in our family I hadn't given it much thought…any thought.
Which, oddly, is not to say we haven't talked about it (a lot) because it, being his Senior Year and all, has been a determining factor in where he lives and goes to school. The scale tipped back and forth as we weighed "International School Experience" against "Senior Year"…one side an elephant, the other, rhinocerous. The answer was slippery-er than a seal and carved new lines at the corners of my eyes.
White noise muffled the heart sounds. Mental assent is sometimes smoke and mirrors.
Until our return trip home the other day.
My oldest boy is a senior.
He's old enough to vote.
And see R-rated movies without my permission.
And fight in wars that no one really wins.
He is the most like me, this one. Everybody knows it. It is good and not so good and no one knows why better than me.
He has superpowers, too, and his sister insists that I stop naming them. That, she tells me, gives the powers more strength. She's right.
I pray he uses them for good because they're difference makers.
When he has pain, I feel it.
When he is troubled, I know without a word.
When he's done wrong, it breaks his heart he's broken mine.
What joy to see your boy's potential; hope is seeded in those dreams, isn't it?
As parents, don't we see what our children are capable of before they do? Wouldn't we dare will it if possible?
We don't want them to make mistakes or choices that will bear unfortunate future consequence. But isn't it those very things that transform boys into men?
How much more boring would our lives have been if his halo wasn't so cock-eyed.
He has challenged me, this middle-child-like-me, and sometimes made it difficult to like him. There's no shame for either of us in that as far as I'm concerned; because our relationship has climbed rocks, we have smoothed out. He has made me a better mother because he demanded that I work harder; not to earn love or perform better but to see him for who HE is and to learn I wouldn't want it any other way. I'm rather certain God was accomplishing a great work in me through tempests with him.
He is stronger than he knows, a friend who loves to the full, and compassionate when another might need that touch. And he makes me laugh the best.
We've trained him up in the way he should go and soon enough it will be up to him To Go.
I hold him with loose hand and expectant heart.
In him, I see a great Becoming.
I cannot wait to read the rest of his story.