Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Can I brag on my awesome kids for a minute?

I spent a little time this morning catching up on a few of my favorite blogs and reading about being a parent during your child's senior year got me a little teary. I mean, it's only 2 short years until #1 is a senior, and only 5 years until we're empty-nesters. 5 years, people. 5 years ago my kids were a junior in college, a 5th grader and a 3rd grader.

Whoa. Let me back up a little. Teary. That's where this was going.

When your kids are little and you're knee-deep eyeball-deep in diapers, snot, and chicken dino bites, it seems like those days will never end. (I mean, we know they WILL, there just isn't much light at the end of that tunnel. Maybe the flickery end of a firefly, but certainly not the sunrise bursting through. Because time.) I'm telling you right now, don't let this middle time go. These middle years when they can wipe their own butts (thank God), handle their own social schedules (rest in peace playdates, I won't miss you), AND have a deep, meaningful conversation about literature with you? These are the priceless years.

Remember when I was telling you about our remaining summer schedule? Let's dive into things a little....

My #1 is a music guy. He has been playing the piano and saxophone for 4 years, joined the marching band last year, and put together a jazz band that is now playing around town. He decided a couple of years ago that he wanted to do something music related for a career. When we were registering him for high school and getting him into the honors classes that he needs, we started looking at colleges and universities so he would understand how classes that he takes now will help him get into the schools that he wants to go to. In that process we decided to look at Berklee College of Music's website as a comparison to an in-state school, compared to an out-of-state university. (That whole ball of wax is a different post. Different day.) While clicking around we found that Berklee offers summer camps, some of which are offered here in LA. His sweet little brain started to churn and by last spring I found myself clicking "Pay Now" for a week-long song writing camp. (One of the things he likes to do in his free time is compose. Yes, I said compose. Music. I know.) That was the week that I had to drive back and forth to Santa Monica each day, twice a day. (Yet another post. Y'all don't even know.) At the end of the week, after working with instructors, playing Open Mic night, and writing and performing a new jazz tune, they asked him to return for the second week of the program, focusing on Performance. And? Offered him a partial scholarship. Long story short, (Yeah, right. Who am I kidding?) #1 is turning into an amazing musician. He has great musicality, even more drive, and we realized that week that we're not just being proud parents (which we totally ARE,) but that he really IS talented and has enough talent and drive to make this music thing happen. People in 'the business' told us so. We don't yet know where it will lead but I've got the best seat in the house for watching it happen. The best part of it all though? I get to see great concerts, mostly for free. Be jealous.

#2. Oh, my #2. Tank, Bruiser, Giant. He's the football kid, remember? Back when he was just a wee one, maybe 5 or 6 years old, he pointed at the tv and said "That's what I want to do when I grow up." He was pointing at a Saturday afternoon SEC football game. I was able to put off tackle football until he was 7 and there has been no turning back since. 4 different youth leagues, dozens of coaches, 7 seasons, a private coach, 2 summer camps, and countless loads of "OMG THAT IS THE WORST SMELL EVER" laundry, we are in a critical season. Believe it or not, the 8th grade year is when a football player begins his journey to college recruitment. (Yes the NCAA has bunches of regulations but if you really, really want to play this is the best year to get started on your 'resume' of game films, among other things.) For years, my husband and I were your typical sports parents-He tried to push him, I just wanted him to play for the love of the game, ("There's plenty of time to get serious! He's only 8!") We, thankfully, landed somewhere in the middle: just enough push for reality, just enough relaxation for it to be fun. This year? He's KILLING IT on the field. He is being coached by a man (and his staff,) that believe in this: #1 in life is Faith, #2 Family, #3 School, #4 Football. Also on the staff is a coach from a well-respected local high school varsity team. Connections, and all. His dream is to go to a large, prestigious, PAC 12 school, and he's got the grades to do it. I'm really looking forward to this season as my big boy grows into his man-sized body and plays out his passion on the field. The smiles when he comes off the field at the end of the night are worth every stinky sock, every stinky year. Now don't get me wrong, I have realistic expectations and a D1 school plus a scholarship are lofty goals but even if he ends up at a D2 or D3 but still gets to play the game he loves? It will be ok with me.

These kids. They are driven. More importantly though, they are incredible human beings. #1 is loyal and has a strong sense of commitment. #2 is quietly strong and when he finally has an opinion on a subject, it is well thought-out and mature. They both have a faith that is strong and a self-identity that is pretty solid.They are both sweet and loving and compassionate.

So, I'd say that we are pretty proud parents, and things are going pretty well so far this school year!


kyooty said...

Very nice to read! It's a joy to read about your kids and how proud you are.

Kendra HeadlessMom said...

Thanks Mary!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I can't even begin to imagine being that talented in playing music let alone creative in composing too! My organ teacher quit me. Way to go #1.

I love the difference in the boys also which doesn't make for personal competition between them. They can admire each others goals and cheer each other on. I love how much he loves the game and it sounds like he is is a great place this year with his coach.

You have every reason to be extremely proud......

Liz@thisfullhouse said...

I love your kids <3