No amount of preparation or forewarning can actually prepare you for when your oldest child starts making that passage into adulthood. I thought that my child reaching the dreaded, even feared "teenager" milestone would be so hard for me but 13 came and went. Even 14 came and went with no fanfare. Now I know why... it was saving itself up for a time such as this.
I snapped this picture of my oldest child taking his driver's license written test. Then I grabbed the hand of my little guy and ushered him out the door as quickly as I could but the tears were falling before I even reached the door. I don't know why this was such an emotional time for me?!
Ryan found out immediately that he passed the test, only missed one. I was quite shocked seeing as I paid $4.95 for a driver's education book that he didn't even crack open. Guess he listened well in the driving school.
We immediately had to go to the Tag Agency to get the permit. I pulled up to the door and just couldn't contain myself. Ryan couldn't believe I was crying so much. He told me that I couldn't come in unless I wore my sunglasses to hide my eyes, lol. So I did. I had him do all the paperwork and answer all the questions so he could get a feel for what it's like to be an adult. Then she had him stand back and take his picture. Again, the tears came. But the toughest part out of all of this came when she handed him his learner's permit. I took it in my hands and just lost it right there in the building with people starring at me, LOL! It's a good thing it wasn't even the emotional time of the month... oh my what would I have done?? I'm wiping tears away right now as I type this.
Not even turning 40 years old compares to my oldest child learning to drive.
Although he is finally showing signs of becoming a responsible young man, I just can't even believe that the past 16 years have flown by as quickly as they have. Shouldn't he still be in Kindergarten laying in bed, snuggling up with me as we read books?
Rich and I only have a few more years to impress upon his heart the ways and responsibilities of a God seeking, God fearing man that is to be the head of his home. Wow, that is so overwhelming to even think as I read it once more. That is why I am so truly thankful that God leads my husband and I as parents to the best of our ability. We still screw up constantly, have good intentions, and get lost ourselves sometimes... but God is ever faithful. The best comfort of all is in knowing that he, my first born son Ryan, is a child of our loving Savior. Since Ryan (and my other children) was in the womb, before we even knew him, I prayed for him. These past almost 17 years, I have been praying for the friends he keeps, any girlfriends he might acquire, but especially for the spouse he will one day marry.
It's not easy raising kids. But knowing that they are truly God's kids and He is just loaning them out to us to raise up and teach sure brings about a peace that can only come from Him.
I am grateful that God saw fit for Rich and I to take Nathaniel Ryan from an infant to an almost 16 year old young man. I am thankful for the years we've had with him, the joy, the laughter, and even the heartache he has brought to our lives. For through it all, we learn to be better parents and trust that God has it all under control.