Monday, July 13, 2015

Watching A Child Become An Individual

Swim team buddies.  Collin's moving past doggy paddle and onto strokes.

Memaw and Papa stopped over for a Fourth of July lunch.  With Papa focusing on a healthy diet, fruits and vegetables were tops on the menu....and not one boy revolted over the lack of processed foods.  Progress!  

The week before the 4th, we met some friends at the Wonderlab.  There were 11 boys in all and 1 girl.  As a surprise to no one, the sweet girl didn't want to join in the picture.

Spent Fourth at my dear friend Erin's house.  A tractor ride through the woods and corn fields was a must when entertaining us city folk.

Fireworks in the front yard!  Life certainly doesn't get any better for my boys.

One of my favorite ways to past time in summer....lounging on the couch with a book.  Maybe one day he'll be reading Faulkner or Hemingway, but for right now Batman comics is tops.

On July 4th, the boys ran in the One Mile Blanton Woods Fun Run Race.

Cooper earned a 3rd place finish.

Caleb came in 2nd.

Connor earned a 6th place finish.

Collin finished:)

I ran the 5K and got the 2nd overall female finisher award.  Darn 15 year old beat me.  Youth always prevails!

The 2nd place finishers!

Summer is supposed to be lazy.  As parents, we are almost required to foster an atmosphere of boredom.  Smart parents know days and days of inactivity will bring children to utter the words they never thought would pass from their lips..."When's school start?"

But this summer, the laziness has never hit.  Camps, sports practices, swim meets, and a bustling neighborhood dog walking/plant watering business has filled our days.  I view my calendar with mixed emotions.  On one hand, I miss the days where children can lounge in pajamas, devour a late homemade breakfast, and then fill the rest of the hours with whatever sits in their imaginations.  On the other hand, I've enjoyed watching my kids develop new skills and grow in their passions.

Last week, Caleb attended band camp at a nearby college.  Everyday, I fought traffic and suffered through a commute to get him to camp.  He's a child that doesn't gush.  He's not giddy.  But in his deadpan-sort-of-way, he looked thrilled.  He was in his element. Playing music all day made him happy (and the daily trip to Starbucks during camp...thanks band camp for creating a new habit:)).

On the last day of camp, the band performed a concert.  I snagged a seat in the front of the auditorium and quickly found Caleb.  He clutched his trumpet and belted out notes.  He looked grown-up, happy, and confident.

I watched him walk up to the microphone and introduce the next song.  He tossed out musical terms that were foreign to me, but they meant something to him.  Then, he returned to his seat and the band sprang into action.  The instruments played off each other producing a vibrant sound.  Mid-song, the band hushed and Caleb's trumpet blasted out a regal-sounding melody.  At the end, the band director walked over to Caleb and instructed him to bow.  I couldn't clap loud enough.

I listened to my son's solo with a mixture of awe and gratefulness.  He's found it, I thought.  He's found what makes him happy.  He's found what God made him to do.  Music is to him what running is to me.

When I was in middle school, I played the flute.  (Played would be a strong term.)  I despised the flute and may or may not have fudged my practice charts because I didn't want to spend one more minute with that torture device (aka instrument).  Band class was painful.  I'm sure my band instructor had to take a lot of deep breaths (and perhaps some medication) when working with me.  Music is/was not my gift.

But, I believe it is Caleb's gift and the thing that brings him happiness.  And for that I have an appreciation. He is not an appendage of me.  Although he has a little bit of my DNA sprinkled within him (and absolutely none of my musical genes), he is his own person.  Watching my child grow into an individual is beautiful, gratifying, and worth interrupting a lazy summer with a commute.

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