9.14.2012

Boys to Men (how quickly)

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)

We flew to Arizona last weekend to celebrate the engagement of our oldest son. 

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. 


 

23 comments:

Renae said...

Awh so sweet and courageous of you! I salute you. Thank you for sharing those insights and moments. I love when my daughters and sons-in-law hug me, too.

Becca Acker said...

So precious how you say you will always be rooting for your sons. Sounds like you have a wonderful family!

Rita said...

It is an amazing thing when you suddenly realize they are grown men (or women-but I had a boy). This was a lovely tribute, Mom. ;)

Joyce said...

I've been visiting my 22 yo daughter this week and am a little in awe of the woman she has become. It feels good!

Congratulations to your son and his bride to be!

Chatty Crone said...

What a lovely young MAN you have there.

Annmarie Pipa said...

a beautiful post...you are blessed!! love the happy smiling photos! congrats to your son on his engagement!!

kim said...

What a sweet post! Made me cry thinking about how fast it all happens. What lucky "boys" to have a mom who still cheers them on!

Dana said...

Wonderful post! I know that in the blink of an eye, I'll be the one looking back and wondering where the time went. You're very blessed. :)

Janice's footsteps said...

awww so wonderful that both your sons found good wives and that you made that possible by showing them a good example of values and unconditional support :]

Kenya G. Johnson said...

If I was any where near being an empty nester the post would have made me "BALL". This was very sweet. Love the pics!

Lea said...

A very sweet post. Congratulations on having kind-hearted children. By the way, Chrystalle picked a nice last name to pair to her first name. :)

Retired Knitter said...

I am reading this on September 15th, my son's 39th birthday. He is a newly married man with a wife who is gentle and caring and perfect for him.

He matured later as most guys do, but now he is a man I can be proud of ... and I feel blessed.

Where does the time go ...

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Yes they grow so fast and he has grown into a fine looking man who you are proud of that shows in the post......

ROBIN said...

this makes me think of my son, now 16. He's grown up so fast. Before I know it, he'll be off to college and on his own. I dread it. It will be so sad for me, but yes, it's what they are supposed to do. Grow up. Leave home. Be men.
sounds like you have raised some amazing men.

Michael Ann said...

I enjoyed reading this so much. I am watching my two sons grow up. They are teenagers now and I know in a blink of an eye, they will be MEN. Thank you for sharing this.

Dawn M. Hamsher said...

Mare, That was a wonderful reflection on your sons. I don't have any sons, so I may not have to worry about "maturity", but I do look forward to the day I can look back over her life and celebrate her marriage. I can wait, though.

P.S. My husband says she can marriage at the age of 33. LOL!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Wonderful post about your sons. Yes, I think we'll always be there cheering for them. Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog.

Tamera Brose said...

My only son is just 17 and much to his dismay he will always be my 'little' boy. His first time shaving was more of an experience for me than for him. His voice changing caught me totally off guard. I want to much for him to grow up and mature and get out on his own. I don't know if it will happen for him or not or at what pace. Then again I want to stop time and keep him my baby forever. If you can do it, then so can I.

Lynn Proctor said...

i know--my husband and i were just talking about this---we were sitting with our mouths open as our son was telling us, how he gets to work a half hour early each day---this was a kid, you had to lie to about what time things started!!

SweetMarie said...

I'm laughing at Lynn's comment because I've had to do the same, but now my son arrived an half hour early for a job interview at Chickfila just yesterday!!!
I always enjoy your post. I always think and feel so much while reading them. This is so lovely and sweet! Very happy for you and your boys! Love the first pic!

Marianne said...

What a sweet and beautiful post. You are scaring me a little bit because it seems that these hairy, bear-hugging men are none too far away from my immediate future. But you just made me enjoy the prospect a bit more.

Emmy said...

Congrats to your son! I wonder if his fiance worried about your son's last name when they first met :)

And congrats to raising good men

Cecilia Marie Pulliam said...

Mare, your post is so true. Both of my sons are also adults, grown men now in their 30s and 40s. (Ouch).

I couldn't help but notice the Boise State shirts. I live in Boise. Great place to live.

From one proud mamma to another, we did good!