I spent nearly an hour and a half on the phone the other day with Jill, and it occurred to me that how I remember her "little boy" is totally unlike the young man he must be now. SO much happens in two years, it is going to be a shock to see Wesley after we get back to the U.S. We left and he was just a boy, now...well, now he's hit that growth spurt and there's no telling what he looks like! Too bad Jill isn't interested in sending pictures! I love ya, Jill, but goodness, the last picture I got of Wesley was when he started third grade, and he's now in high school!
My own kids, well, just like kids do, they are growing. Physically, they are all bigger than they were than when we moved to Germany. They're all completely different in every other way as well. I suppose it wouldn't hurt for those I share this blog with to be able to "see" how they've grown, so I'll take a few blog entries and devote them to each of the kiddos.
Our oldest, Jon (once actually known by his full first name, Jonathan), is 17 years old. Quickly becoming a young man, and it seems that every day we see a little less of the 'boy' we used to see in him. He's almost two inches taller than his father, and weighs the same that Pete did when he left for basic training nearly 18 years ago. He *should be* shaving, but much prefers the Shaggy look. In the last six months, his tastes in hair styles have changed more times than we can count. We've gone from long and grungy to short and dyed to even shorter and spiky. Unfortunately, the too-tight but too-low pants have not gone out of fashion, so we still end up staring at Jon's underwear more often than not. At least they're clean.
Jon would love to be driving like his stateside buddies, but thankfully German and US Army Europe regulations keep him in the passenger seat. I don't think Mom could handle having her son on the autobahn just yet! It's a bit disheartening that taking away the privilege of driving, the overabundant opportunity for a part-time job or extracurricular activities that are more than available in the States makes military kids overseas more than just a little bit "lost". Finding their way isn't an easy thing, considering that the future isn't something they can readily put energies into preparing for outside of academic pursuits, and too many of these kids get into more trouble than they would had they been less bored, but it seems that Jon is finally growing past that self-absorbed pity party phase. He is still very interested in skateboarding, and since there is a nicely designed and maintained skatepark just a couple of blocks from our house, he has ample opportunity to improve on his skills.
Jon will begin his senior year this Fall. We don't know where we'll be when he graduates, but he plans on doing what the last three generations of men in this family have done--join the military. We've known for quite some time that this was a likely path for him, and while the risks of military life are very apparent to us, we're proud that our son will serve his country like his father and grandfathers and great-grandfathers have done. We are looking forward to seeing Jon march across a parade field with his fellow basic training graduates to begin his own Army career, and our prayer is that God will bring someone into Jon's life who will be a perfect fit for him and who will complement him well as he begins what will hopefully be a long, prosperous life of his own. And maybe, just maybe...He can bless Jon with someone who will tame his fashion "bling":