I have so much going on that it is completely crazy. Tomorrow my middle son is graduating. I know he has been out of school for just about two weeks now, but him walking for graduation is a big deal. My oldest has not graduated yet and I dropped out of school but ended up going back and graduating. This is a huge deal. This is the first person from my genes that has completed school and he has done it well.
We moved to this school district when he was finishing up his 3rd grade year. We drove him back and forth every day for the rest of that school year. He started his 4th grade year in a new school. He did amazing. In 5th grade he started playing a trumpet. He started to make some friends but he wasn’t really close to anyone. I was really worried about him.
He had a lot of life changes that were happening. His parents were getting a divorce. His brother was acting out with making bad choices. He had a new sister, a new school, a new home, and a new guy who was in our life. He had drepression and a huge attitude. We got him into counseling and a teacher took him under her wing.
He got involved in trips with the school. He went to D.C. one year, Boston another year and ultimately he was able to go with the Marching Band over to Europe. He got involved in sports (thanks to this amazing teacher). He started his freshman year with Marching Band and quickly joined the ski team.
He bloomed and it was the best thing I could have watched happen. He became a social butterfly. Marching Band was not my favorite (hey I’m being honest here) because as soon as August hit, summer was over. At the same time because of where we live, we could be outside hearing them practicing and that was so awesome. Jack or I would head over to pick him up after practice (during the summer and during the school year) and we would end up waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Why? Because he was making friends and talking with them.
This son of mine is very much like me. More than he would ever admit at least. He didn’t get my height (he is over 6 foot and I am 5’5″) but he has brown curly hair, a great smile and a dry sarcastic sense of humor. He is also exceptional at being with people when he has to be and deep down he is a true introvert. He comes home after work and hibernates. He is drained and needs recharge time. He may get online and play games and talk to people but it is about the game itself and he is alone in his room. He enjoys cooking and being cooked for. He isn’t a huge fan of cake unless it has the word cheese in front of it.
He saved up money over his four years and purchased a truck. As soon as he had his truck he was out applying for jobs. He is everything a teen should be and more. He worked hard in school. He participated in sports, marching band and he ever volunteered his time at the humane society.
With him growing up we didn’t do much with church. It wasn’t until about 2004 that I actually found a church home. He went and was involved for a while. He had such a passion inside of him but then it all fell apart. As a mom I wish he was in a different stage in life but I accept whom he is and I do pray for him. I remind myself that I wasn’t really involved at his age either. It was hard to find a church to baptize my oldest (that just goes to show how much I wasn’t into church at that point) and I am thankful he didn’t act out like I did at his age. I don’t push him because I know that it isn’t me who will bring him back, it is Christ and so I pray. That is my job right now, to love and pray for him.
He has grown into an amazing young man. He walks for graduation tomorrow. He isn’t sure where he is going to go from here, other than working over the summer. He is making choices about his future because he isn’t 100% and that is okay. All he knows for certain is he doesn’t want to go into debt from school at this point in life. He doesn’t want credit cards. He wants to live the right way (why isn’t that financial class he had the option to take mandatory?) and save for his future. He has said he feels a little lost because he doesn’t know, I think he knows the right things and is heading the correct way. Don’t just jump head first into college and debt, at least don’t if you have no clue. It is the summer, you’ll get there. You have options.
I know I am far from being perfect. I know I make mistakes all the time with my children. Still the gift God has given me with this one, it warms my heart. It allows me to see that even with mistakes, love can and does exist. Through all of the anger and tears, through all of the hugs and yelling, through all of the troubles and heartache and not knowing, I did do something correct. I helped raise him into this young man who is going to walk across the stage to get his diploma (okay a rolled up piece of paper) because he worked hard and earned this.
He found himself along the way. He has his friend time and his alone time. He has a job and a truck. He has three parents who love him very much. He has three siblings who adore him and always want his attention. He has four grandparents and one great grandma who are proud of his accomplishments. He has uncles and aunts and cousins who have made sure they are free to celebrate with him.
He has bloomed. He shines in a way that no one has taught him, it comes from finding yourself. He is a lover of animals big and small. He has a kind heart (shhh he doesn’t want everyone to know). He has taught me a lot and for that I will always be thankful.
He came into this world as my butthead (maybe a story for another time) and he will always be my baby butthead. He is graduating tomorrow. It doesn’t change anything really. His room is still right next to mine. He still parks his truck in the driveway next to my car. He still works down the road from the house we share. And yet, he is graduating and officially becoming an adult.
I am so proud of you Adam. Your smile lights up the room, when you let it. You have held a piece of my heart from the moment I knew you were to be. Keep on going forward, keep on shining and being you buddy.