School supplies are on the shelves. Orientation and open house dates have been posted. And, more summer 2014 days are now behind us rather than ahead of us. The season will soon change, at least from an everyday perspective if not on the calendar. Kids will be back at school and another summer vacation will have come and gone.

In the spirit of FB’s throw-back Thursday, I am taking a quick look today at a season in parenting that is behind me.

I now have a 16-year-old. In one month from today, he will turn 17. He is no longer my baby boy, and I miss that sometimes. Little guys and girls do cute stuff. They entertain with their innocence, and it is pure joy to watch them learn.

When Ivan (his name, by the way, means “Gift of God” in Russian or Czechoslovakian) was a tyke, he did the following:

Blog - Ivan July'14My in-laws are real-deal Germans. They came here in the 1950’s. So, when Ivan was small, I took him to German classes at the German Cultural Center in St. Louis. Kids learned German words and sang German songs with Frau Suzie. Around the holidays they had a concert, and my brown-eyed boy stood front and center amidst a chorus of blue-eyed blonds. He evidently became excited with the microphone. He seized it with one hand and randomly told the audience… “My grandpa drove his tractor to California.” After a moment, the room erupted with laughter, and I stood stunned, my brown eyes the size of saucers.

We met our daughter in January of 2002 in Guatemala. She was 4½ months old. Her expression was serious as she studied us. The first words her older brother spoke to her directly came when he bent down to look at her in her umbrella stroller and said… “Yessa, yessa do like chicken nuggets.” (Perhaps we ate too much fast food at the time.) She didn’t crack a smile.

A few short months after we moved into our home in 2002, he took his 5-year-old entrepreneurial self to the neighbors to inquire if they would like to buy some freshly-mown grass. His wagon was full and his hopes high. They politely declined, pointing out that they had quite a lot of their own on their 3-acre lot. While we hadn’t yet gotten to know our new neighbors well, the man worked with my father. So, the story was good entertainment at their workplace.

Kids are fun when they’re little! They do cute stuff! We parents have mental lists of stories that make us smile.

Fast forward to last week when my son earned a bit of money doing yard work. He still likes working outside. He came home from the store and announced that he had gotten something for each of us. He got batteries and BBlog - Ivan - FFA- July'14and-Aids for himself (don’t ask), a season of “Duck Dynasty” for his dad, a snack for his sister, and, drum roll please, a big bottle of Tide for me.

I know. Super cute, right! Not so much.

So, for all of you younger parents, enjoy the season you are in. Enjoy whatever season of parenting you are in. They are all good in their own ways. Though teenage years aren’t always cute, they are rewarding. Our kids begin to make us proud with accomplishments and wise decisions. They show their character and demonstrate their unique personalities. And, that’s pretty precious, too.

Share with us a special memory about your child.

Enjoy a Thoughtful Thursday!






2 responses

  1. I have the honor of leading Mr. Ivan’s 4-H Air Rifle Shooting Sports group. After reading your article, all I can say is that’s so Ivan! The other evening at practice there was more talking than practicing and Ivan, Kaylen and I were contemplating the zombie apocalypse. Ivan (in true Ivan style) offered his opinion. “Zombies wouldn’t be like what we see on TV or in the movies. They would be the kids who spend all their time staring at phones and playing video games.” HA. After he said this, he checked his phone. My opinion – he was born about 30 years late. Great kid. Love him.

    • Oh, how sweet of you, Angie! I miss coming to the meetings now that he drives himself. You have a way of relating to the kids that they really enjoy. Oh, and let’s talk about the pickles. I hear he has got you canning for him! Thanks for visiting my blog!