Jared turned 16 about a week ago. He passed his driving test on Friday. And he was ordained a Priest in church today by Scotty.
I remember when the girls turned 16 it felt a lot more, mmmm.... fun. It was a light, happy occasion. They could now date. They were entering an exciting time.
But, as the boys get older, it feels serious. They take on more responsibilities and I find myself holding my breath a little, and getting a little tearful, and a little fearful. Will I teach them what they need to know to be men? The world of men seems a heavy place. They'll have to provide for a family, and, before that, fill a mission. So much to do. So much to learn. So many decisions.
I was thinking this week about when he was born. It snowed about 8 inches that night. Just as we were leaving for the doctor's office a handicapped man in our ward was driving by on his bicycle (in the snow!) and saw us and came in to visit. We felt funny sending him away, so we sat and visited with Kenny for half an hour on the couch, pretending not to be in labor.
It was a long labor for me, about 6 hours. And in the end, he broke my tailbone.
Two weeks later we were back in the hospital with a staph infection in his belly button. That was so miserable. The neo-natal intensive care unit was not really where I wanted to be the day after Thanksgiving. They had to give him IV antibiotics, but his veins were so tiny they wouldn't hold up, so they had to keep finding new places to stick him, even resorting the vein on the top of his head at one point. We spent 4 days in the hospital, but we had to do those IV's for a whole month.
It was a horrible ordeal at the time, but I didn't realize how serious until 2 years later when I got an invitation to a party, a reunion for the survivors of the neo-natal intensive care unit. I felt a little shift in my world when I read the word "SURVIVOR". What did they mean? Did he almost die? I guess he did, but the doctor never let on, which I have to say, I am eternally grateful for.
And I am grateful for this young man. Grateful he survived. Grateful he passed his driving test. Grateful he became a priest today. Grateful he attended his first missionary prep class with the Stake President. Grateful for the promise that the future holds for him, even with all its responsibilities.
So proud of my son.