Oh, we ALL learned (mom and dad included)
plenty of life skills!
In the land of opportunity, there are jobs abounding.
The boys got jobs right away and went right to work.
Nick got a job cashiering at the local grocery store.
It was frustrating.
He's only fourteen, but they had him working
almost 40 hours a week.
He was missing out on everything his friends were doing-water park visits, kayaking trips, you name it-he probably missed it.
It took a kid who was really excited to work,
and made him face grown up reality too soon.
As parents, we decided to step in and talked with his boss.
They were fairly accommodating, but there were plenty of other issues to deal with, such as workplace bullying, adult workers acting like children and throwing fits, gossip that was definitely rumor based, all too much for a 14 year old kid to deal with 30+ hours a week.
It was a teaching moment, and a learning moment for all of us!
Nick saved his money all summer, and bought a nice desktop computer. It will accommodate his videography and photography hobby quite well. We are so proud of him for sticking it out all summer, working on a goal, and accomplishing it.
Levi had a grand time working at the yogurt shop.
He learned how to pull his weight, that sometimes you have to work when you really, really don't want to, and that working can be fun.
He learned to be part of a team, fill in when someone is sick, or they have other plans-the trade off being-they will also cover for you when the "get together of the year" is happening.
Levi also learned some hard lessons.
Double check when you ask for days off, so you don't get a call on your way home from Ohio asking where you are because you should have been at work an hour ago. He also learned that there are bosses who are not very forgiving of youthful mistakes.
Levi got his driver's license in August! What a blessing!
He could drive himself home at 11pm after work, to church and home. Slowly but surely he learned to get around Bismarck,
Mandan, and beyond with his GPS.
Our backyard was full of bonfires, amazing teenagers, who will one day be great adults!
We vacationed to Ohio, and St. Louis, and drove
through nearly every state in the Midwest.
I walked away from this summer wondering if I should have unschooled my boys all those years!?
We were able to reach out and touch history this summer.
We toured the Levi Coffin House and walked and the original floors where slaves were on the Underground Railroad escaping, touched the doors the slaves fled through, and looked into spaces so small, it brought tears to our eyes to think of 14 people, human beings, being stuffed into the space to escape simply because of the color of their skin.
We again touched history.
We walked down the halls of the courthouse where the
Dred Scott case was tried and ruled on.
It is said, that the Dred Scott case was one of the catalyst
that propelled the Civil War into reality.
We stood next to a replica of the ship Lewis and Clark set sail in. We walked on the grounds thought to be the original Fort where they prepared for the journey west.
We have been blessed and have seen three major legs of the journey. Beginning, middle, and end.
We also saw several major league baseball stadiums and NFL football stadiums. None of which belonged to our beloved Seahawks, but they are still impressive buildings.
We can't forget the St. Louis Peace Arch. talk about impressive!
We are among the few who can say they experience a thunder and lightning storm from the top of the Arch! Eric took 200 photos and was able to capture one of the lightning striking in the distance.
Eric and I learned some tough parenting lessons too.
It's really hard to let go!
When the first one gets his license, you rejoice,
and work on letting,
go because it's the natural progression of things.
When the second son gets his license the same year,
it is surprisingly hard to let go!
When the third boy gets into the car for the first time,
with his newly driving friends, and/or brothers-BRUTAL!
You smile, you wave, holler "drive safe! be home on time,
DO NOT text and drive".
Then, you close the door, look at each other, and realize, it's a new season and a new journey in your marriage and life.
Suddenly it's about you. It's that moment you thought would take an eternity to arrive.
It's about "Wow! what am I really going to do when these
young men are gone?"
The scripture "joy in the journey" takes on new meaning.
I decided it should have been written "bittersweet is the journey"
Sweet, because you have accomplished your lifelong goal of raising boys into young men, who love Jesus, and will do great things for the Kingdom.
Bitter because you miss them so much!
Sweet because you learn to guide and to be a friend to
these amazing young men!