Saturdays in our home means everyone waking up on their own, a pancake breakfast, and visits to the farmer’s market and library.
My seventeen year old has a job at a local restaurant so he hasn’t been able to enjoy the typical Saturday morning in a while. As he was telling me goodbye this morning, he casually says, “I think I want to join the National Guard. Love you! See you after work!” And out the door he went.
Wait . . . what?
I know he is seventeen. I know he’s a senior in high school. I know we are planning for college. But . . . military? That just seems so grown up. The military is for men, he’s not a man!
It took me a moment (frozen on the spot), to shake the dumbfounded look off my face and continue making the pancakes- several of which had already burnt.
I don’t think I’ve ever been so deep in thought while flipping pancakes.
He wants to join the military. Okay. That’s great. Self-discipline. Self-confidence. Physical, mental, psychological, and educational growth. These are all great things. Why does it bother me?
As I was mulling all this over, I looked over at my helper and I had my answer.
He used to help me make pancakes.
He’s growing up and moving on with his own life. There are only ten months until his eighteenth birthday. And then what? College? Military? A wife and family in a few short years? It wasn’t too long ago (or at least it seems) that he was sitting on the counter stirring the pancakes.
And now he’s leaving.
I am excited for him to start the next (first?) chapter of his life. I pray that God directs and that he heeds His direction. But at the same time my mommy-heart sobs.
He’s not leaving yet, I know. And I do have five other children here at home still growing up- the youngest of which is still in utero and isn’t due until September.
I guess I’m writing all this to say . . . Don’t miss it. Don’t miss them growing up. The chores can wait. The busyness of life can wait. Chores and busyness will always be in your daily life. The children, however, as it became abundantly clear to me this morning, will not.