Independence Day

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Summer Fun!

Today is the last day of school, and Drew is especially looking forward to summer.  To him that means staying up late, sleeping in, vacation with us (to who knows where as of today), vacation with extended family (to the Bahamas!), riding bikes and surfing.  To me, it means no morning fights to get out the door, less traffic to battle on the way to work, and being jealous of my sleeping family.  But I love the downtime for them, and the freedom that comes with summer.  Mostly, I love their excitement over the possibilities.

Drew finished the year with his year end grades being SUPER! and several awards including a black belt in Recorder Club (oh how I love the sound of the practice.  *sarcasm*), a Citizenship award (apparently he saves it all for school and is plum out of respect by the time he gets home), and a few others.  Next year he’ll be in 5th grade- the last year of elementary school.  How did this happen?  Wasn’t I just writing about his first day of 3rd grade?

Drew at 4th Grade Awards with one of several he earned

Drew at 4th Grade Awards with one of several he earned

 

Ben finished his first year of preschool a few weeks ago.  He loved every minute of the small class that he spent two mornings a week in.  He learned so much, and we were so thankful for his precious teachers.  But he’s moving on!  He was accepted as a ‘model student’ (don’t laugh, I have no idea how this has happened) for the pre-K program at Drew’s school.  We thought they’d never be at the same school at the same time, but now they’ll share one year there together.  We love the school, and are thrilled with the opportunity it’s going to give Ben to grow and learn.  He’ll end up there for 8 years!

 

ben_endyear

We’re ready for Summer fun!

 

p.s.  I’m linking up with a Wordy Wednesday prompt today- lots of people do Wordless Wednesday’s but that’s not quite possible for me!  So check out some of the other great posts here at CarrieElle.com. 

Wild Ride in Cambodia

Very few people actually seem to have any memory of Austin.  Or so it feels some days, when the support we get is mainly from people we’ve known in more recent years.  So it’s really nice from time to time to hear someone say his name, or simply share a thought about him.  One comment on his birthday that really made me smile was “I miss that guy” from someone I’m introducing you to today.

In part because he remembers Austin, and in part because he’s an author and now world traveler, and is kinda what I want to be when I grow up!  Ryan and I shared a few of those oh so fun teen years, and we recently reconnected through the magic of Facebook.  He’s pretty cool, and I wanted to share his story with you today because I’m excited to follow the journey he’s taking and think you’ll enjoy it too.

The remnants of  their 4 bedroom house.

Ryan and his family recently left for Cambodia, and he’s taking us with him on the adventure through his writing.  As I sit here in my office, wishing I was having an adventure, I’m hoping his provides some inspiration to you and I both.

Can’t wait to read more!

Visit his blog.

and check out his book.

How Many Days to Raise a Boy?

Yesterday I was relaxing and holding my sweet precocious little guy while he slept and thinking about how fast the days are flying by us.  It seems like just yesterday we were planning for his arrival.  Now we’re chasing him while he laughs, pulling him off of high places he shouldn’t be, and sometimes taking a golf club to the shin in all the fun.  And if it seems that the past 19 months have flown by, I look at Drew and can hardly believe that 8 years have gone by.  But yet I can’t remember life before him. 

Then I realize, we’re almost half way through the years of Drew at home.  We’ve already had the biggest impact we will on his personality, esteem, values and learning.  From here on we’re reinforcing what we’ve taught, intentionally or not.  We’re closer to the start of this journey with Ben, and I was just thinking that I’m glad for more days to mother and love on him, glad that we’re not so near the finish.

My boys and I recently

But I started debating how many years it would be before they were ‘raised’.  Is it 18 when they’re legally adults, or 21 or so when they finish school (I hope) or when they’re married and on their own, or…?  Maybe it’s none of those.  Maybe a parent’s job is never quite done, because when do you stop needing loving guidance of someone who loves you more than themselves?

Often when a missing person is an adult, the heartbreak and urgency is lost on those not close to them.  But to those that love them, they don’t need us any less.  They may need us less in the physical sense, but that’s far from everything.

No matter how old our kids get, we still are teaching them, guiding them, loving on them.  We’re still pulling them away from danger when we can, and hurting when they hurt.  We’re still getting hit in the shin so to speak at times.  And we’re thinking we wouldn’t trade it for anything, hurts and all.  The older my boys get, the more I understand the mothers who will never give up.  The more I understand that their age has nothing to do with it.  I think that is part of God’s plan too.  He didn’t tell us to honor our parents when we’re young, but our whole lives.  A parents love is the closest thing we have here on earth to His love.  It never ends.

So how long to raise a boy?  I don’t think I’ll ever be done to find out.

Letter to Myself

A few days ago I saw an old photo of a group of my friends from high school. We were young and more beautiful than we knew, so full of potential and ready to take on the world. I commented that we were really something, and was reminded that we’re really something now too. Years later, these are now women that I respect and admire. Both for things they’ve accomplished and the way they live their lives.

I looked at myself and wondered what I’d have said if I knew what the next 15 years or so would hold. I probably would have been scared and excited all at once, and in some disbelief of it all. But here are some things I would say to that girl.

Be courageous, you have nothing to fear.

College will teach you so much more than you’ll learn in class. Get out there and experience it. A little more studying wouldn’t hurt you either.

You’re not fat.

You’ll meet many guys, and you’ll learn from them what you want and don’t want in a spouse. Heartbreak will help you find the right one.

Fight for what’s right as soon as you know its right. But don’t worry, you’ll soon get pushed into it and you’ll be fine.

Enjoy that time before kids a bit more, quiet doesn’t come again for many years.

You’ll learn a lot about medicine and advocating for good care by being thrown into the fire. Toughen up- it’s hard but worth it.

Ask more questions, invade personal space a bit more, and open up yourself. Fear of rejection is no way to live. The phone won’t kill you.

Stop. Breathe. Enjoy.

Go home at 5 sometimes.

Hug your Dad more. You don’t have to agree on anything but loving each other. That’s enough.

Push Austin. It might not have helped, but don’t give up. You’ll have less regret and guilt, and you already have enough.

Enjoy that last movie with Austin, and don’t drive straight home. Find a way to spend a few more minutes.

Just keep trusting God, He won’t let you fall.

Look around at your friends. Some will be gone, some will become close again one day, some will come later and become family, while some will seemingly disappear once Austin does. You’ll learn from them all.

You’re stronger than you think. You’ll survive more than you think you can handle, and you’ll do more than just survive.

….. Now that I think about it, I should probably remind grown me of these same things…..funny how our younger self and our older self are so much the same, maybe just a stronger version. At least I hope so.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone