When I had my first child, everyone told me to enjoy it because it goes too fast. So I did. And it did.
Everyone told me to write down the cute stuff he said, to take as many pictures as I could, and to cherish the handprints on the windows because before I knew what was happening they would be gone.
And so I did.
And then I had three more, and I cherished that time with all three of the other kidlets too. In fact, with my youngest, I knew just how fast the baby months flew by, so one day I did absolutely nothing but hold him. All day long. From 6 AM to after 11 PM he was in my arms.
That was a good day.
But just this week something happened that no one warned me about.
My oldest, Jeremy, just turned 12. And I know you may be thinking, “Ah, yes. The middle school years.”
But that’s not it. I’m totally familiar with the middle school years. And I love them. It’s a bit odd to have them under my roof 24/7, but I love them just the same.
And I had more than my share of warnings about the middle school years.
But what I wasn’t prepared for happened last Monday. I am coaching soccer for my youngest two, and I needed an assistant. I asked Jeremy if he’d be willing to help, and he said sure.
So on Monday I was out at the field, and I sent half of my little players over to work on kicking goals with Coach Jeremy.
I looked over there, and I was completely caught off guard.
Here this kid – my son – my heart – was leading a group of little kids and doing a great job. He was encouraging them, instructing them, and keeping them fully engaged.
Jeremy has grown up with pre-teens and teens who have poured their lives into him… and now he is doing the same for others.
The feeling when this all hit me – that’s what no one warned me about.
Never once in these past twelve years did anyone ever say, “Oh, and one day you’ll look at your child and see it all clicking. You’ll see him giving back to others, taking on responsibility, and doing an amazing job. And you’ll feel so proud of him, so encouraged, and so thankful for everyone who has helped shape him into who he is.”
And so our family is entering into a new stage. My youngest is about to be a 1st grader, and my oldest is a regular at our youth group, rocking the Algebra, and asking the tough questions.
And it’s different. And the time went too fast.
But this stage? It’s pretty awesome. And I plan on cherishing it.
See you soon.