Friday, June 14, 2013

Fifteen Years

The end of an era? Or the beginning of a great new one??

My Youngest turned 15 years old this week. Yesterday, he got his learner's (driver's) license. Today, he is polishing up his resume and could officially begin looking for a job. A few weeks from now, he will have completed his first year of high school ...

How did it go from this ...

... to halfway-to-grown-up so fast??

As if sensing my unease with the way this all seems to have happened so quickly, he assured me that he will still be living at home for quite a few more years. "By the time I finish university, I will be in my twenties ..."

University!?! Yes. He knows what he wants. And he plans to go after it. He has a plan. He is fifteen years old. And he has a plan!

He is a deep and insightful thinker. Within our family unit, he comes off as quiet and a bit of a recluse. Yet if you engage him in something that he is interested in, he can hold up his end of the conversation and you may not have the chance to speak once he builds his momentum.

My 'little hayseed' ...

... has turned out to be full of great ideas and promise.

He doesn't yet 'see' what has to be done in and around his world.

His focus is on his own living space and he takes care of his belongings (and vacuums when the cat hair gets too thick). His Older Brother is encouraging him to take ownership of some of the outside maintenance and this is more than His Brothers took on at this age and stage of their lives.

I believe 'tunnel vision' is very normal for this time in one's life. I never tried to fight it with my older kids because I remembered all too well, what it was like to be that age. 

Children copy what they see ... 

... perhaps My Youngest saw far too much vacuuming in his formative years. He is a tiny bit 'allergic' to vacuuming now.

He has grown up with pets. He has learned to be caring, gentle and kind. He has felt the unconditional love of a cherished furry family member.

He sat by the sidelines and earned the title of being The Chosen One from our Senior Cat (Andre) ... and has finally taken on the pride and responsibility of being the one who fought to adopt our Junior Cat (Ray).

He knows what it is to love someone the way a parent loves a child. Without condition. Without end.

Our 'guard dog' Sheba keeps her young person away from the danger of the stairs around the corner ... 

... we never know what is around that next bend in life. But we know that we can handle whatever we are given when we have loved ones at our side.

My children are gifts. To me. To this world. To those that they bring into their lives. Each and every one of them.

My fifteen year old son gave me the give of appreciating the many blessings that parenthood has bestowed upon me at a time in my life when I was finally open to receive these many gifts.

Every time he advances through an age or a stage that I have gone through twice before, I am given the gift of 'multiplying it by three'. I was too young, too hung up on appearances and perfection, too stressed and trying too hard to figure out who I was as I raised my older children. My Youngest has known a calmer and a more experienced 'me'.

I will continue to expect the unexpected as my fifteen year old son rounds the bend and takes on the challenges that life will toss his way.

May the seeds we have planted along the way, carry him where he needs to go.

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