My oldest turned 15 on July 25th! Another yikes!! No, it's o.k., really. I love who my son has become and I wouldn't turn back the clock for a second. There are times I see an expression on his face that reminds me of him as a child and I remember. But, sincerely, raising Chad was a challenge and I was so happy when he got to be about 13 or so. And he just keeps becoming more of a joy as he grows older. He's a stinker like his Dad but I'm used to that. He makes me proud nearly every day in the way he behaves and interacts with others; when he remembers to do what he needs to do and even does the unexpected (both good and bad!) and his kindness to me and, sometimes, to his siblings, especially makes my heart sing. I get positive feedback from those who meet him and have gotten to know him. Of course, he needs improvement in lots of areas (show me a teen who doesn't) but my prayer is that God will continue this child on the right path and give him guidance and wisdom throughout his life.
Chad began a volunteer position at a historical museum located about 17 miles from our home. He had his interview last week and I coached him a lot before that. I waited for him in the car and when he returned to the car, he honestly thought he'd been gone over an hour (it had been about 15 minutes!) Nerves can do that! His interviewer liked him as well as the people he'd be working with. He was so excited! I was happy for him but I knew that this was the beginning of change in our home. I'll be driving him (Todd might be able to help with this) every Thursday. It's an hour round trip but I'm not going to sit and wait for him there so I'll get home and then make the trip again in an hour or so. But more than the driving, it's the start of Chad spreading his wings. Know what I mean? I'm so glad for him and proud but am resisting pulling him back to just play with Legos. I know how I felt at his age - I wanted to work, move out, be in the world. I had a 20-hr week job by the time I was 15-1/2. A car at 16. At 18, I was wishing I had started working later and just played during my teens but I know it was good for me. This position is volunteer but I think that's a plus. He had his first day yesterday and he loved it. He's working in the museum's archive room, organizing files of people in the area. He loves history and is good at organizing so he's in his element. He is, however, in another state, as this museum is across the river in WA. It's the first time he's been so far away all by himself and that seems weird to me. The drive is beautiful, crossing the 4-1/2 mile bridge across the Columbia is lovely but terrifying sometimes. I was pretty tired last night but we had a very busy day so I'm sure I'll get used to taking him. It's all worth it.
So, we had Chad's birthday on Sunday, working around Todd's work schedule. I made the cake for Chad. Yesterday was my husband's birthday and today is his mom's birthday. We celebrated last night at her house. Todd made the cake and we brought Chinese take out. It was so nice not to have to prepare any food, since I wasn't home most of the day (Chad had a dental appointment in the morning as well.) I spent today catching up on laundry and dishes but actually got in a nap. And, of course, "that" time of the month had to occur. I am tired. But it's been a good week. The bonus: My 9 year old daughter actually wore a dress last night - and loved it! She never fails to surprise us and is a stinker, just like the rest of my family. I am so blessed!