Our oldest son is coming up on his first wedding anniversary. A couple weekends ago, I visited our youngest son for a few days. I'm thinking about my boys this week and how quickly they grew up. That prompted me to pull up this post for a Friday Flashback...
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BOYS TO MEN (10. 5. 2011)
On the plane, I thought back to the days when he was a tow-headed toddler.
A lanky pre-teen.
Jeremy is now a tall, sturdy 33 year-old with a half-beard and a fiancee.
Our oldest is an independent spirit, and we sometimes wondered if marriage would cross his radar. Not that it had to...we just wondered.
It was a sweet and surprising moment when he called us in April to tell us he had purchased a ring. Tears welled a bit while I talked to him.
We'd only met Chrystalle (yes, her name will be Chrystalle Ball) once, briefly, over a year ago. This past weekend, we had to cram in getting to know her, meeting their friends, her parents, and catch up on the wedding plans to date.
Jeremy has not lived at home for 13 years. It was enlightening and fun to live in his world for a few days. He was thoughtful and practical when talking about dealing with issues he's faced the past year. He was a great host, introducing us to the people in his life, showing us around town.
He seemed like a grown-up.
That night in the hotel, my husband and I asked each other, When did that happen? Maybe it's Chrystalle, we said. Maybe he's just been on his own long enough. Maybe he's been through difficult things we don't even know about. There was simply a new level of maturity.
Our younger son Zach was married almost two years ago, a year after graduating college. He was 22. That seemed a bit young, but my hubby and I married at 19 and 20, so we supported him.
Over his engagement, we saw the man emerge. Working through ever-changing wedding details, financial woes, job-hunting. Since being married, he's settled into the roll of husband quite beautifully. He adores his wife, Carrie Anne.
Somewhere along the line...boys turn into men. Sons begin to resemble their father, their grandfathers, their uncles. Not necessarily physically (although sometimes), but in action and habit and character.
It's supposed to happen, of course, that they grow up and onward, but it kind of happens when you're not looking. And then...one day...you just see it.
With my sons, it seems to be choosing marriage that has added a new depth to their lives. They both met a woman who sparked in them a willingness to be vulnerable, to sacrifice, and to commit. These are honorable - and sometimes rare - traits in a man.
It's heart-warming to see.
My sons are not little boys anymore, but strong, hairy adults who give me great bear hugs, which I love, love, love. My prayer for them is that they continue to grow in tender-heartedness, courage, and conviction.
Because life will throw them a curve ball now and then. Maybe many.
I want them to know we will always been in the bleachers rooting for them.