The first time I really became aware of the fact that my boys were all grown up was at Seth's graduation from basic and AIT. We all traveled to Fort Sill for the occasion. I stood there surrounded by Ken and my three sons, and they all towered a head taller than me. Suddenly, I felt very small, but I felt something else, too. I remember wondering, "When did they get so tall? When did they become young men? How did I miss that transformation? Seth has only been gone for a few months, why does he seem so much older and taller? Surely, he wasn't that tall before he left......or was he???" I listened as Kevin gave Seth tips on military life and deployment like he was an old salt or something. "When did Kevin become an advisor for his little brother? They used to fight constantly." I noticed a smile on Rick's face as he talked to his two younger brothers like they were his best friends. "When did that change? When I used to tell them that some day they'd be best friends, they'd look at me horrified. When did they all become such good friends and not just brothers???" My very next feeling was an overwhelming sensation of pride and joy.
This picture was taken in one of those photo booths at a mall in Lawton, Oklahoma, the weekend Seth graduated . . . the very weekend I realized my little boys were no longer little. They were men . . . and they were good, decent men. I love this picture (sketch) because it reminds me of that day and that moment.
You might say that weekend was the end of an era......and the beginning of an amazing transition to being the mother of grown sons.
I used to worry about them all the time . . . well, that hasn't really changed . . . . . . :) But what has changed is that now they worry about me. For example, a week ago on Friday, we had a terrible storm blow through Dallas and it took out our flagpole . . . bent it right in half. We found our flags in the neighbor's tree, still attached to the flagpole, the next morning. I called Rick to see if he could come by to help us get the bent pole down from the tower. He was pretty busy fixing internet problems all around Dallas that had been caused by the storm . . . working on Saturday . . . and had been at it since early that morning. So, I told him not to worry about it, I'd use one of the safety belts he'd left at the house to climb the tower and take down the flags and the bent pole. I wasn't about to let Ken do it because of his gimpy leg from the motorcycle accident two years ago. Besides, I've always been a tomboy and can do that kind of thing. Rick said, "No, don't do that. I'll come by when I get done with work and do it. You don't need to climb that tower." I laughed and made a comment about him thinking his mom was too old to climb a tower. He just said to wait and let him do it. It was so sweet, he was worried about me . . . . . :) Well, I did go up on the roof to rescue the flags, then Ken and I ran errands. When we got home that afternoon, Rick was on the roof lowering the pole into the yard. He had climbed that tower before we got home and taken the bent flagpole down. I couldn't help but grin as I got out of the truck.
Another example is what happened last week. A couple of strange men popped into my office who had no business being there. I don't work in a public store or the like, I work in a small two-person editorial office. The only people who are supposed to come into the office are people from UPS, FedEx, the US mail, etc. Get my drift? Both of these men said they were just looking around . . . for what we're not sure . . . but we called security on both of them. We're on the 5th floor of a large bank building . . . people don't just wander in off the street . . . at least not until last week. Both encounters were weird and unnerving because of the mens' demeanors. One was, I think, fairly harmless. I believe he was just curious about our magazine. But the other one was an ex-con who was supposed to be on the 3rd floor at an employment agency that specializes in finding jobs for ex-cons. What he was doing on the 5th floor coming in our office is beyond me, but my boss was sure he was up to no good. Two weird encounters in one week . . . the first time in the 7 years that I've worked there . . . and now my boss gone for the week . . . which means I'm the only one in the office. Anyway, Ken and I met Rick for our standing Wednesday night dinner date and I told Rick about the two visitors and how I was going to be on my own this week. Rick said, "You need to keep the door locked any time you're there by yourself." I expected that reaction from Ken, but here was my oldest boy, whom I still worried about, worrying about me. I couldn't help but smile!!!
Seth and Katie didn't make it in this weekend. They were both sick last week and still weren't feeling quite up to the drive. But Kevin came in, and he and Rick helped us put up a new flagpole and finally get our flags flying over the house again. Rick was on the roof with a rope tied to the tower to help lower it; Kevin and Ken stood beneath the tower and walked it down slowly to keep it from falling. My job . . . keep the puppies from getting in the way while they were working and keep them in the yard while the gate was open. Well, I did attach the flags and tie off the rope once everything was back in place . . . . . lol.
It's a hard thing sometimes to let my boys be the men around the house, and let them handle a lot of the tasks I've been doing myself or have done for them all these years . . . but it makes my heart sing to see the kind of men they've turned out to be . . . . . . :)