day 290: taking it to the next level

My youngest son turned 12 on Thursday and tomorrow after church we will celebrate his big day with lasagna, brocolli, bread, watermelon, and chocolate cake.  Twelve is a big birthday in our religion/culture, as the young man or woman is now done with primary (Sunday School for young children) on Sundays, and enters a new level of instruction, along with matching responsibilities.  There is more service expected from these youth as they perform duties that cause them to get outside their self-centered comfort zones and reach out toward others. 

Along with the advancement in the church setting, we as a family, are officially done with elementary school.  Kind of strange.  Kind of great.  My youngest two sons will both be in junior high next year, next boy up in Mexico serving a mission for the church, and the oldest taking classes at the University.  Am I old, or what?

Of course, sometimes I miss my babies.  I miss the hugs and the easiness of having them all around me with no real worries about peer pressure.  I miss having everyone tucked in around 8:30.  I miss the six of us spending lots of time together.  I miss the cute art projects that would come home.  I miss reading to them at night.  But the nice advantages include more time with my husband, no more babysitters, cool adult and semi-adult kids that have great independent thoughts and ideas, more laughing together because we all get the same humor, and watching them turn into good-hearted men.  Yeah, that's for sure the best part. 

I love the men that I have helped to raise.  I have been blessed.


Robin | June 6, 2010 at 12:37 AM

Amen to all of the above.

gigi | June 6, 2010 at 5:03 AM

How exciting! I think for ids thats the 2nd great day into adulthood :) I know that today will be special. It's fun and hard watching our babies grow up.

Kim | June 6, 2010 at 7:47 AM

I am new to reading your blog, thanks to Tauna, I too am in the same boat as you. My oldest is now serving a mission in Portland, Oregon and last September my youngest child,son, turned 12. Just this past friday he graduated from elementary school and I will no longer have anyone in elementary school.

Time flies and new adventures do begin. I have been enjoying this stage of my life--I feel blessed to have 4 healthy and beautiful sons and daughters. I too feel old, but it has been worth it.

I truly enjoy reading your ponderings. For the past year I have only written a number of times and I have felt a little lost at what I want from my life. I read your post a few days back and just cried. You did hit the nail on the head, as Tauna said, and I want to thank you for sharing. I am repondering picking up blogging again.

Thanks again for sharing and enjoy this stage of life--IT'S AWESOME!

AnneMarie | June 6, 2010 at 9:38 AM

Here's to your awesome kids and their parents! Happy Birthday to your son.

(and you're not old--we are just starting to ripen a bit)

Kimberly Vanderhorst | June 6, 2010 at 9:49 AM

There is such excitement over each new level, isn't there? I love how you miss the sweet younger years and yet fully embrace the joys of the now. I want to be you if I grow up. =D

Luann | June 6, 2010 at 10:51 AM

Happy birthday #4! We think the world of you!

Lara Neves | June 6, 2010 at 12:08 PM

I have a hard time when I look back and realize things that all my kids are finished with. Phases I may never see again as a parent. It's liberating and sad, all at the same time!

Happy birthday to your youngest son! i hope you all have a wonderful time celebrating!

Shelle-BlokThoughts | June 6, 2010 at 7:50 PM

I sometimes feel like I'm always saying... I just can't wait until they get to this age... or that age... and I just forget to savor them while I can...

Because although the next stage is inevitable and has it's own bonuses as you have pointed out... I need to enjoy each stage! :)


Welcome to the Garden of Egan | June 6, 2010 at 8:02 PM

Honey, you ain't as old as me.
I love that you are excited about the next level.
I certainly miss having them home and wish for those days of reading and picking up the messes.

Charlotte | June 6, 2010 at 8:17 PM

I have really enjoyed those parts of my kids getting older, too. My first boy turns twelve in a month. I am super excited for him! His sister has been an incredibly easy teenager so far (of course she's only been officially one for 3 months).

Wendy | June 7, 2010 at 5:39 PM

I find if I'm not excited about the next level I spend to much time thinking about what I could have done.

With graduation from high school last week, my girls will be gone. Now I'll just have my son at home. It sounds like you have expertise when dealing with the boys. I'll be paying attention!

Have a great day.

Kristina P. | June 7, 2010 at 6:31 PM

For some reason, I read that as Brocolli bread, and I sort of wanted to know, but didn't want to ask.

Serene is my name, not my life! | June 8, 2010 at 2:13 PM

And here I am just getting started on Elementary school!
I anjoy my little ones but I'll admit, I look forward to a few things being over forever! Like potty taining.

Lola Sharp | June 8, 2010 at 5:47 PM

I really love this post, K.

Heidi | June 9, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Not old! You had your kids young . . .Hey, if I had been invited to your house that day, I wouldn't have been able to eat a single bite of that. But I would have. That's how much I love whe .. er, YOU!

Dedee | June 12, 2010 at 10:36 PM

Suddenly I am sad/excited for what is to come!