Childish things

“…but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:11

My family recently attended the wedding of one of our daughter’s high school soccer team mates. This girl had been a part of our family for more than ten years. Our families were friends, the daughters sisters, the sons buddies.

When the girls graduated, they each went separate ways. They kept in touch, but we didn’t see her for the better part of three years. Both girls, attending schools three hours apart, are set to graduate from college this spring.

At the wedding reception, we sat with several other of their high school teammates catching up with what each had been doing. Our son, WK, a sort of little brother to them all, sat among the girls, enjoying the renewed attention.

As the bride made her way around the room, greeting her guests, she eventually arrived at our table. Hugging her old friends, giving an extra long squeeze to my husband, calling him by his preferred nickname, ‘Coach.’ He had at one time coached all of them in city rec ball when they were very young.

Oddly, she seemed to just give a cursory wave to WK. I knew what was happening, and smiled over at our daughter who picked up the cue.

“Kim, don’t you recognize WK?”

The range of emotions that played across her face was fun to watch.

Her eyes grew wide, her hands came up and covered her mouth, tears threatened to fall ~ she turned to me and his dad, then started to laugh.

“WK! What happened to you?” she squealed. “You’re a grown man!”

The last time she saw him, he was barely over five-foot, now he is six-foot tall or more. His military buzz cut replaced by a long mane of curly blond hair, the shadow of a matching beard on his cheeks. Not the little middle school kid she knew when she graduated high school, but a man she now mistook as the date of one of her 21-year-old friends.

While he looks every bit the part of an adult, my son is equally still a kid. He can be incredibly silly, making the worst ‘your mom’ and ‘that’s what she said’ jokes. He has the best laugh and sweetest smile. Yet, in the evenings, he is diligently going to school, working toward a life of independence, learning what it means to be on his own

He’s at the in-between age of teenager and grown up. This summer he reaches that official 18-year-old milestone. As much as I yearn for him to cross that line, to be comfortable and successful on his own, I know that it will be harder for him to make that transition than it was for his older sister.

I’m eager to help him make that move to adulthood, but have also made peace with the realization that it may still be a while.

6 thoughts on “Childish things

  1. I am so proud of him- proud that he is going to school, that he’s sticking it out and trying to be independent, and even though it will probably be some time before he’ll be out on his own, the fact that he is making strides makes me so happy for him, and of course, for you!

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  2. How beautiful. Recognizing the in-betweens can be so difficult. Even harder is reveling in them. Not rushing through or longing for the past. Finding the pure joy in now. Bless you for finding it!

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  3. Our youngest is going to be 20 in 27 days. He’s a sophomore in college. But emotionally … it’s going to be a while before he’s ready to be independent and on his own.

    This last weekend, the Doctor said, “Maybe five years or so”, when asked.

    And maybe, deep down inside, I’m just a teeny tiny bit thankful for the Asperger’s that will keep him home – just a little while longer.

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    1. I think that’s part of it with WK. With everything he’s had to deal with, issues that his sister didn’t face, I’m more protective with him and like the idea of having him home longer.

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  4. Being a former teenage boy, I can tell you, all of them are stupid and immature. Girls at that stage grow up a little bit quicker. At WK’s age I left my parents home with both middle fingers in the air, thinking I knew everything. I didn’t appreciate the wisdom and love of my mom and dad.

    I hope he takes time to recognize what you and your husband are doing for him. He won’t. But I can falsely hope.

    sweet story

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