I’m not sure which is more traumatic: the day your first child becomes a teenager, or the day your last child stops being a teenager. What do you think? Aaron hit his teen years before Joel was even born, but Aaron was definitely the “Rocky Road” flavor, and I remember writing a little poem about his being thirteen that ended, “More ups and downs in just one day than in all the years along the way!” Of course, I would never have traded him for a barrel of monkeys, but today I wouldn’t trade him for anything! He’s a great son! 🙂Joel, on the other hand, was always unbelievably sweet. Do you know how most babies get big enough to climb out of their crib and let you know they’re awake by jumping on your head? Well, I would wake up and find Joel cuddled next to me but just quietly waiting for me to wake up. Unbelievable! Here’s a picture of him first thing on the morning of his 20th birthday. As you can see…he’s still quiet, thoughtful, and unbelievably sweet!Joel’s birthday was on Sunday, June 19th, but this year that was also Father’s Day, and beyond that, Uncle Terry and Aunt Eileen were arriving on Sunday afternoon too, so our “cozy commune” (the four of us still living at home) had a first celebration for Joel on Saturday.As soon as they could, the rest of the Michiganders arrived to help celebrate!Sunday after church we celebrated Father’s Dayand had a very lazy, happy afternoon swimming and boating.Our firstborn was born on my 25th birthday. It took 20 years for our lastborn’s birthday to fall on Alan’s “Father’s Day,” and guessing that we might not all make it another 20 years to see if it will happen again…we really relished the specialness of Alan and Joel being able to share their mutual holiday as our lastborn finished his teenage years! In fact, everything about it was J.P. (“Just Perfect,” as my dad used to say). 🙂
Alan and I felt like we couldn’t have asked for a happier day or a sweeter son. But, after all is said and done, we think it’s more traumatic for your lastborn to turn 20 than for your firstborn to turn 13. So, for any of you reading this who may still have children living at home with you: treasure your time! It passes, and every day—even with the tiredness and all the ups and downs—is precious!
“LORD, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations…For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night…O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us; and establish thou the work of our hands” (Psalm 90:1, 4, 14-17)