Monthly Archives: September 2012

License to drive…

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Yesterday was a great day for Christian young people as they celebrated “See you at the pole”; an event where high school students gather around the flagpole at their school to pray.  Sadly, Caleb couldn’t make it to this event because Caleb was getting his driver’s license.  Of course, I can assure you that there was no lack of prayer going up from Steve and me.

Caleb turned 16 on September 15th and has been on pins and needles to get his license ever since.  His dad and I have been, too. <Whew>.

I guess it’s stressful with every child who turns 16 and is licensed to drive alone for the first time.  Steve asked me yesterday, “Were we this nervous when Wes got his license?”  I gave him a resounding “YES WE WERE.”  But that was 7 years ago.  It all came pouring back in on me yesterday.

Caleb at the DMV

(I forced him to take this picture.)

All the way to the DMV, Steve and I were giving Caleb tips about his driving, the driving test, etc., and Caleb consistently responded, “I know!  Gah.”  The only thing Caleb seemed to be nervous about regarding the driving test was making sure that he drove at “10 and 2” and making sure he did the “hand over hand” turns.   Like most drivers, once he got his driver’s permit, the “10 and 2” and “hand over hand turns” went out the window.  But if he failed this test…he was going to be toast.  He would never live it down.

Not long after we arrived at the DMV and I got what I came for (the pictures), we went inside.  Making an appointment is the ticket; they checked him right in and shortly thereafter, out the door he went with the officer who would administer his driving test.  Caleb gave us the following story; he said he got in the car, buckled up, checked his mirrors, started the car, put it in drive, placed his hands at 10 and 2 and started driving.   As he started out of the parking lot, he initiated his first hand over hand turn and immediately, the officer says, “You don’t have to do that 10 and 2 and hand over hand crap.  I know you don’t really drive that way.”  Lol!  Talk about an ice breaker. 🙂

When the test was over, Caleb was told he passed with flying colors and all that was left was the smiling.  He got his picture snapped and received his temporary license (they have to be mailed now…so much has changed!) until his real license arrives.

He really hates that I take so many pictures….but my people expect it.  I must take pictures…

So this morning was Caleb’s first day driving to school alone.  Before he left, I reminded him that he has one job – get from point A to point B safely.  “I know this, Mom.”  “Well, it’s my job to remind you again and again and again…” (just ask Wesley).  As he started out the driveway, I watched and prayed over him again.  As he drove away, my anxiety was over.  I felt a true peace come over me.  And, a stark reminder that Caleb is growing up.  He’s a young man now and I believe we can trust him to be responsible.  Please Lord, let it be so.  Because if he’s not responsible, well, just ask his older brother…

When Wes got his license in 2005, we got him a 1999 Nissan Pathfinder.  I’ll be honest, it was more than we intended to get for him at 16, but he begged and we conceded.  Well, we conceded with the following warning: “IF you get any violations; speeding tickets, stoplight violations, accidents, etc., we WILL sell your car.  Got it?”  He said he got it.

Several months later, Steve and I went to the mountains for our anniversary.  Wes knew I would take my Bible and Wes knew I would read my devotions in the mornings while I was gone.  One morning during our trip, I got my Bible out to read my devotions, and there was an envelope marked “Mom and Dad” in my Bible.  Hmmm?  Maybe an anniversary card from Wes?  Aww, what a sweet boy.  I opened the envelope and it was a note alright, but it was accompanied by a pink slip of paper.  A speeding ticket with Wesley’s name on it to be exact.  The note from Wes explained that he, knowing we would be furious over the ticket, thought it best to put said ticket in my Bible hoping that I might not be so mad if I found said ticket while reading my devotions…???

Honestly, I just had to laugh.  Steve and I both laughed about that all weekend.  Steve and I also put Wes’s Pathfinder up for sale the following Monday and within a week it was GONE.  Wes learned that, in this case, we said what we meant and we meant what we said.  Wes drove a 1995 Honda Civic for the next 4-5 years and I believe it helped him to appreciate the privilege he had to be driving a vehicle as well as the responsibility required to do so.

Now, I sure hope I don’t have to post a 2001 Toyota Tacoma on Facebook for sale….:)

 

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Deja Vu all over again…

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There are so many things that I love about being the mother of my boys.  They never want to borrow my clothes, a little water (or spit) in the hair makes them presentable, as long as they have clean jeans and a t-shirt they’re good to go in the mornings, and they like CONTACT SPORTS.  The only time that last item is bad is when they decide to make “contact” in my house.  I’ve enjoyed watching all three of my boys discover sports from pee wee age.  Let me tell you, it’s a proud moment when you realize that your little boy has become a man as they burst onto the playing field.

As I’ve written before, Wesley, our oldest son, has been our child of “firsts”.  We have experienced a lot as Wesley has grown up and we are still experiencing  first time life changes as God presents His path before Wes and Kendal.

I remember well the year that Wes overnight grew a NECK.  Not until I looked at a picture just the year before did I notice how he had filled out!  He became a Western “Warrior” playing both football and lacrosse for his high school, but football was my favorite sport.  That boy could hit.  HARD.

#30

Wes was a linebacker and he was tough.  I loved watching all of the Warriors play ball, but you know, when your kid is on the field, that’s the one that has your undivided attention.  Having his name called out on the loud speaker as he took down his opponent was icing on the cake.

I remember so well one game during his junior year in high school.  The opposing team had the ball and just as he passed it to his receiver, Wes turned in time to catch it.  With natural reaction, he intercepted the ball and turned towards Western’s end zone running for a touchdown.  He made it right to the end zone before being tackled, but he was instrumental in allowing the Warriors to immediately score a touchdown.

 I. Went. Ballistic!  I was jumping up and down, screaming, yelling, cheering…and wetting my pants.  Literally.  Listen, moms will tell you; after birthing babies, jumping results in leaking.  But hey, it was worth it.  I couldn’t have been more proud of my #30!

Great memories for sure.  Yep, Wes was our child of firsts; but we’re not done.  We have two more boys and we get to experience their firsts.

Next up, CALEB RIGGINS…

Last night, we watched Caleb take the football field.  Caleb is #30 – how fitting.  Caleb had an amazing game.

Caleb was in on multiple tackles!

Caleb recovered a fumble!!

Caleb INTERCEPTED THE BALL and ran it back within 15 yards of the Warrior end zone!!!

Caleb made me pee my pants…again.  Seriously, so worth it.

Good ‘ole #30…

(Notice how much he looks like my other #30!)

Hot,  yucky, sweaty, and loving on his Mama…

AND his brother.

  That’s good stuff….

GO WARRIORS!

Oh the power of suggestion…

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When I was a little girl, I used to LOVE being too sick to go to school.  Seriously….in elementary school, I always looked for ways to go home from school early.  I simply wanted to be at home instead of at school.  I very often went to my teacher saying that I didn’t feel well and needed to go home.  Obviously, that’s all it took back then.  I remember the nurse taking my temperature every time I went to the office, but it didn’t seem to matter that I never had a fever.  They always called my mother.

One day when I was in first or second grade, the nurse called my mother because, yet again, I was “sick”.  On this particular day, my mother did not have a car because one of the two cars we had was in the shop and my dad was using our only running vehicle.  My mother tried to reason with the school nurse, asking to have me sent back to class to “try” to make it through the day, because 1) I didn’t have a fever and 2) she had no way of coming to get me; but nothing doing.  According to the nurse, I was “sick”.

Bless her heart, my mother had no recourse but to call a TAXI to come pick me up at school and drive me home.  I knew getting into the yellow automobile that this was probably not going fare well for me.  I don’t know if my mother was more scared to tell my father that she had had to call a taxi to pick me up or if I was more scared to face the man for coming home “sick” again (knowing that I really wasn’t).  I do remember that he was NOT happy and that he made quite the “impression” on me.  That was about the time that I decided a full day at school wasn’t all that bad.

Fast forward a lot of years.  Occasionally my own boys will try to get out of going to school citing that they’re just “too sick”.  But I know the signs; I was the master pretender at being sick, remember?  Usually, the rule at our house is if there’s no fever, there’s no staying home from school.  At least that’s how it was with Wes and most of the time with Caleb.  But Eli?  Well, now he’s a different story.

Eli takes all of my skills to a new level.  I pretty much know the night before if he’s going to be “too sick to go to school” the  next morning.  All Eli needs is a single symptom OR better yet, leverage (i.e. there’s a virus going around school, his best friend has strep throat, etc.) and he’s good to go…or rather stay….at home.

Such is the case this week.  If you recall from my previous blog, Caleb had missed school this past Friday due to some oral surgery so, I think in Eli’s mind, Caleb was one up on him.  On Monday of this week, the boys didn’t have school due to Labor Day.  That evening, Eli started complaining that his throat was “killing” him.  Now, I didn’t doubt that he had a sore throat because he has allergies, but I assured him it was just good ‘ole drainage and that after taking his allergy meds he would be fine.

I watched his countenance fall when he didn’t seem to get the response from me that he had hoped for.  And I could see it coming…he was going for a sick day.  Sorry buddy.  I was going to be TOUGH this time.  School just started for heaven’s sake!

It was time for dinner and we had invited my mother over to eat with us.  Eli came to the table, so very obvious; shoulders slumped, mouth droopy, heavy sighs followed by grabbing his throat in pain, then hand to the forehead….you get the picture.   We sat down to eat and it was time for the inevitable.  My dear mother says, “Eli, honey, are you okay?  What’s wrong?”

Here it comes…

Eli – “My throat is KILLING me.” (heavy sigh followed by exaggerated wince and blinking of the eyes), “It hurts to even eat.” (Yet, he didn’t stop eating.)

Mom – “Well, you know there’s a virus going around….”  Screeching brakes!!!!

Simultaneously, Steve and I cough, clear our throats, I do the “cut action” across my throat so Mom will stop with the word “virus”, and Steve, right eyebrow raised, speaks up confidently and assuredly, “Oh, this is not a virus, this is allergies.

But alas, all of our efforts were in vain.  The seed had been planted….

Eli “worsened” as the night went on, even citing that his friend had missed school on Friday with this “VIRUS” and he must have given it to him.  Yeah, right.

Eli was riding this one out.  He even  went so far as to join me on the trampoline outside in order to “try to make himself feel better” (what a guy).  But after about 20 minutes, he realized that the jumping made his throat hurt worse…something about it making him thirsty which made his throat feel parched.  Poor thing….(eye roll).

Well, you guessed it.  Eli stayed home Tuesday.  Fever?  No.  But he did sleep a good part of the day.

Does anyone know if there is  a “I need to sleep all day” virus going around?   If so, DON’T TELL US!  We don’t want Caleb getting it.  Apparently, Eli has already had it. Lol.

Oh, but God is good!  By the time I got home from work on Tuesday, Eli was a different person and it no longer bothered him to jump on the trampoline.

In situations like this, I usually like to say that our boys are “just like their daddy”; but in this case, Eli was channeling his Mama. Ugh…