My oldest is fourteen. He's known for his height and his hair, his voice and his love of classic rock. His knowledge of deep tracks goes way beyond mine. It's sounds weird to say we've had a hard relationship, but it's true. Maybe we're too similar. Maybe I'm crazy, but it's never been easy between us even when he was two it wasn't easy.
Sunday afternoon he and I made a last minute dash out to Lincoln in search of the dress shoes he needs for tomorrow's class play. And it was gold. My brain tends to forget the good stuff and so I'm desperately trying to hang onto our afternoon in Lincoln in late April 2017. We talked, he told me about what he's excited about for high school, what he's looking forward to this summer. We talked about the kind of singing I did when I was his age. After striking out in two shops, we boldly charged into a shop that had already closed and asked if they had size 15 shoes. They did and we left the shop like champions. We ate out and we drove home and he told me he had had a nice time. He put his arm around my shoulders. It was a great day.
My middlest is eleven. In my mind he's still eight or littler. He has big eyes and a big imagination. He needs lots of alone time and he loves to read. On Sunday afternoon he crossed over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts and it hit me that he's grown up while we were all running in different directions and trying to get dinner on the table. This summer he'll go off to Boy Scout camp with the other boys and he'll start sixth grade in the fall. He loves a nice cup of tea and a cozy blanket. My husband and I have talked about how he likes comfort more than growth and this summer he should be challenged more than he has been. He's a middle child like I am so I have a soft spot for his quirkiness and his rebellion, but it's time for him to level up. We gotta help him do it.
My youngest is real responsible, loves turning in his homework, getting ahead on his memory work, playing basketball, football and hanging out with his friends. He'll tell you he's not that into music or reading. He's into doing stuff. He feels things deeply but hides it all behind a thick skin most of the time. He'll be ten on Sunday. He's my songwriter baby. He was napping as an infant when I wrote my first song and so I mark my songwriting journey by how old he is. Next year will be his last in Cub Scouts and then that's it for the Dunbars. We move on to bigger kid stuff. Next year he'll be in the middle school wing of his school and not the lower elementary wing and that'll be it for the Dunbars in lower elementary.
I've taken the oldest with me three times to Germany. The middle boy has gone twice- the first time when he was six weeks old. Once my friend and I drove from Indiana to New York City with five kids under the age of 6 for a mommy's road trip to NYC. We did it. I can't believe we did it. Am I proud of my drug-free labors and deliveries? Kinda. But I am INSANELY proud of Lindsey and I for driving out to NYC with our small children.
This summer we're driving out to NYC but this time with the senior high youth group. My oldest son will be in the group.
I get a little teary eyed reflecting on how quickly the time has passed. I see mamas holding babies at the back of the church and it feels like I was just there not too long ago doing the same thing. But then the other day while I was waiting tables, a family came in for lunch. It was a mother, father and their three grown sons- all in their twenties. And as I was pouring their teas and lemonades I caught a bit of their talking and laughing with their parents. It was a picture of five people knit together in love and sharing a meal after working all morning to get ready for a family auction. The boys were teasing their dad and being kind to their mom and cracking jokes with each other and it was a scene that made me smile and be glad.
For all that's come and gone, there's still so much more to come and I'm thankful for all of it.