18: A Milestone Birthday & 9 Months To Go

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My first born turned 18 today.  And in a quick 9 months (kind of ironic), he will leave us to go to college.

18 and in a beanie for hockey in Flagstaff (a little chilly there) with his Varsity hockey team.

18 and in a beanie for hockey in Flagstaff (a little chilly there) with his Varsity hockey team.

Back in 1997, I anxiously waited 9 months for my first born, my little baby boy to come into the world.me prego with Jack

Now 18 years later, he is anxiously waiting 9 months to go out into the world.

 

with newborn jackIn August he will leave the nest, a nest that I have carefully and joyfully and tearfully at times, tended to with every ounce of my being.

It’s what parents do, especially Moms.

It really does take my breath away.  It takes my breath away because it is true when they say that the days are long, but the years are short.

It is true when they say don’t blink.  Truly don’t!

Keep your eyes wide open and take it all in, parents.  Jack Christmas at 2 years oldBecause sooner than you think, that little baby will turn 18.  Trust me.  It is like a magic trick just how fast it happens!

1st day of Kindergarten

1st day of Kindergarten

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A few years later after a fight cancer fundraising event with his Dad and his hockey team. Before he got taller than his Daddy.

And lucky for me the recurring theme of teenagers being tough to deal with hasn’t been 100% true…don’t get me wrong….he had his moments…like when he took his car off roading all summer, even though we told  him not to do that.  He paid every cent of the $2,000 worth of damage he caused as well!  That was a bummer and his Daddy made him take the school bus to school while his truck was being repaired as well as a few other punishments for being dishonest.  Consequences.

But those challenging teen times also became incredible learning opportunities for our son. And he did choose to learn from, grow from and take those lessons with him as he leaves us soon to go out into the world.  The teen years fly by because they are filled with milestones.  Everytime you turn around, there is another milestone….

1st day of high school

1st day of high school

Learning to drive

Learning to drive

When they get taller than Mom...a milestone

When they get taller than Mom…a milestone

And then quite a bit taller than Mom!

And then quite a bit taller than Mom!

And taller and bigger than Dad!

And taller and bigger than Dad!

And this proud Mama gets to brag a bit on this 18th birthday of his.  This boy of ours is embarking on his spring high school graduation with a 3.9 weighted GPA as he has taken a lot of AP and dual enrollment honors courses.  He scored a 32 on his ACT and a 2000 on the SAT, both really good scores!

He has been offered two academic scholarships so far and is having a terrific time playing on his high school Varsity hockey team and just made the high school all star team.  jack on ice senior yr
He just finished up his senior year with the Varsity high school golf team and he also works at a nearby golf course.Jack DV golf 2014

He is a very nice boyfriend to a very nice young lady and they have been dating for a little over a year.

Homecoming senior year

Homecoming senior year

Perhaps the thing I am most proud of is what a kind heart he sports.  And he is a nice brother.  11-30-2005-019Then and now.

Still very close even now as teens. Such a nice big brother.

Still very close even now as teens. Such a nice big brother.

Just last week after hearing us tell his little sister no to running alone in the mornings, he woke her the next morning to run with her, by her side, so she could try this type of exercise, safely and with a protector and a pal.  Her big brother.

When Jack’s friends have gone through loss or heartache, he lets me know that he needs to go and be with that friend to offer support, a listening ear or just some company for comfort.

When he dog sits, he stays for a while because he wants to be sure that our friend’s pet is getting attention.  Jack just isn’t collecting a check, but he truly cares about the pet that he is responsible for during that time.

I have more examples.  I am a proud Mom.  For me I truly believe that the most important qualities are a kind heart, work ethic and integrity.

18 years later I see these things in our son and that is why I say that he is ready to take on the world.

Jack and his girlfriend, Hannah making me dinner on a day that I was very tired. So nice!

Jack and his girlfriend, Hannah making me dinner on a day that I was very tired. So nice!

Thank you for that, Jack.  Thank you for being a kind family member in our family and for working together with us during the difficult times and the joyful ones, too.

Happy Birthday son!  I can feel that you are ready to leave us soon.  I really can feel it in my bones.

I see it and I feel it.

I now know that I will be ready for that big day in August when the moving truck arrives because, although I am sad….I am more excited for you!

And I can see that you will be ready, too.

Cap and gown pictures for yearbook. This day is coming very soon now. Kind of surreal!

Cap and gown pictures for yearbook. This day is coming very soon now. Kind of surreal!

You have so much ahead of you.  You also have a huge responsibility to make a difference in this very uncertain and unsettled world.

But for now, I am going to ENJOY the NINE months that I have left with you here in our home.  You are a wonderful young man and you have made this Mama very proud.  I love you son.  Happy 18th! my boy on Prom with me

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