We are at two very different stages in boyhood in our family.
It's a strange place to be, with a toddler and a 19 year old, and living half a world away from the big boy. What a life.
This morning, something struck me as so very significant in where we are in our journey.
This sweet little one wandered in with his blankets to crawl into bed with Mama and Daddy for a little snuggle time at 5am.
And then while we were sleeping, a world away, our oldest son made a very grown up decision to serve our great country.
We are at two very different places with these two boys.
There are things I wish I could go back and change for our oldest son, but, I know we did the best we knew to do, we loved him, pushed him to be his best, encouraged him, cheered him on when he wanted to try new things. We were far from perfect parents. There were times we really messed up, but we did our best to correct our mistakes, in hopes that he would learn with us. Look at him, making adults decisions, to better his future, serve his country and become the man any parent would be proud of!
First off, as I look at this picture, I couldn't be more proud. Second, after nearly a year of being away from his family and not always doing things the easy way, I have to say I am pretty proud that he doesn't look like a slouch...Collared shirt, tucked in, hair isn't too long...proud mom moment right there! ;) Third, he's confident and steady and making solid plans for his future. This is a big deal after an overwhelming fear had tried to consume our entire family in the dark days following the loss of John Carter 6 years ago. It hasn't been easy, and we've fallen, many times, but we never admitted defeat, and always got back up and pushed through to prove no amount of darkness would hold a single person in our family down. Fourth, that we (he) got to this place. It's hard to explain, but that we are even talking about this right now, is a pretty big deal. I hope he knows how proud we all really are of him. There aren't adequate words, and since I am far away, I hope he can feel it from afar.
Last but not least, he's the 4th generation on his fathers side to serve our country and 3rd on my side of the family! Pretty awesome, if you ask me!
Then there is the little guy....
So young, full of life, happy, a blessing as his older brother is to us, as well, but at an age where nothing in life is a worry. The years will go quickly, this I know all too well, and I pray that this boy will radiate with confidence and direction all his days, and that his father and I always seek to do what is best for him and prepare him for a bright future.
Our children are God's greatest gifts. I am thankful for each one and hope and pray that they will seek His guidance and be light and love to a world in desperate need.
One in his young boyhood and one entering his manhood.
I am in awe.