impressed, excited, inspired

I drove 6 hours last night with Oldest. A friend of his was in a car wreck and unhurt but stranded far from home. He fully intended to rescue this friend but had asked me (at midnight) to google map where she was - so that he could find her.
Oldest drives a ten year old Honda that we inherited from his grandmother. It's the kind of car that is starting to cost money but isn't worth selling, and it probably isn't very safe. Couple this with my intuitive knowledge that Oldest would not do well on this kind of journey without a co-pilot to help with directions and I found myself volunteering to do the drive with him and collect the friend.
I don't tell you this because I'm boasting about the "good deed."
I mention it because Oldest likes to rescue people and I admire it in him. I suppose it is as simple as him wanting to be needed or as complicated as his attraction to challenging people, but its base is the desire to do good things for other people. I admire it.

Middle got an A for his sax solo last week. He was amazed and I was in tears. I'm particularly proud of him because I made him prepare the solo and hounded him for months to practice it. I knew all along that he would never have been motivated to work on the piece without my nagging and he still played it very well. The judge wrote great things about his intonation and expression, a nice reward for struggling through Beethoven against one's will.
In the meantime, he is working very hard on a film for an online competition. Each night he is excited to show K how it's progressing. His university course ended last week with the teacher offering to write a letter of recommendation for him. His passion for learning is infectious right now and I'm enjoying his enthusiasm. He has been quiet and contemplative for 17 years - seeing this spark in him is thrilling to me.

Youngest has become a card trick master. Working with an ancient book, procured at a yard sale, and several decks of cards, he has stunned each of us with his skill.
Each of my boys has passed through this magic/card trick phase. We have been patiently watching these kinds of tricks for many many years (due to their age spans), but no one else has succeeded in impressing us as Youngest has. His spiel, his mannerisms, his fluid long fingers are well suited to card shuffling - his brothers were never as adept.
But the excellent tricks are only a piece of what is exciting about him right now. What's really exciting is seeing glimpses of the young adult he's becoming. He surprises us all the time - he likes techno music and is all about shirts with collars and tight jeans, neither of his brothers were interested in either, and we have no idea where the interest in techno/dance music came from. He's forming more solid friendships and making more determined choices about school and church. Later this spring we will attend his Coming Of Age ceremony, for which he will write a credo. I'm looking forward to hearing it.

Every once in a while, amidst the turmoil of every day occurrences, I have moments where I can see each of them with wonderful clarity. This is one of those moments.


That one made me tear up a little/
Mary said…
I so love it when you share these intimate moments of clarity with us.
Amy A. said…
You articulate your love of your children so well. You have encouraged me to try to be more aware of my own kids' uniqueness 'amidst the turmoil'.

You Rock.
Nora :) said…
Posts like this make me wish I had children. Make me pray there's still time.
KPB said…
I am of the firm belief that a shirt is all about the collar and the cuffs. All about it.

Oh, and you know one of the rules of success is a pushy mother?
Anonymous said…
I love to hear how your children are doing, and how you see them. It's very uplifting.

I tutored my oldest through a difficult math section. He has zero confidence in his math skills, and the grades to match. The test was today, and he brought home a B. He was radiant.

When I spoke to my mother this evening, she was filled with delight because a fellow customer at the coffee shop had told her she looked beautiful.

RW said…
these are good words.
I too, have learned much you. I make the time to reflect on my two and marvel at how they are maturing into young adults.

so, thanks for sharing. again.
Heather said…
you teach me wonderful things. Thank you.
Anonymous said…
You should give lessons on how to be a great mom/wife/daughter/friend.
There is SO much to learn from you.
And in that special day for you, it's even better to a those clarity moments, isn't it?
Anonymous said… have those clarity...I type fast and often don't read before sending. Sorry.
Miz S said…
Wait...he called you at midnight and you got up out of bed to drive with him? That's devotion, man.

I like hearing about your kids.

I feel as if I have watched them grow up over the past 3 years that I have been hanging around in Tuvalu.
Eleanor said…
Now that's what makes blogging so special. I can't think of any other medium that gives a parent an opportunity to capture these quick, unexpected, breathtaking moments of clarity. Sublime.
Carol said…
Happy Birthday to your dad...he would be so proud of the wonderful men you have raised - he must have been a great example for you.
Geggie said…
What lovely young men you and K have raised. Congratulations.
Anonymous said…
I prefer to focus on my kids' faults, rather than their strengths.

There's always room for improvement, kids.

Now go get Momma 'nother drinky-drink.
alice c said…
It is a great gift to be able to appreciate each child as an individual and to identify and encourage their special gifts. If only all children were fortunate enough to have such loving and generous parents as you and K. Take time to congratulate yourselves as well.
Jennifer said…
So nice to hear all that.
Anonymous said…
As I've gotten to know your family through your blog, I have always been so amazed and impressed by your sons. Today's post just increased my already high regard for them and for your parenting.
Dani said…
Every once in a while, you make me take a step back and appreciate how special my boys are. This is one of those times.
MsCellania said…
Aw, this was a goose-bumps post.
Your boys are good souls. Like their parents, I'm sure.
Anonymous said…
I love how awesome they each are in their own way. I really love how you see it and celebrate it.
jenny said…
cripes, I was totally enjoying this post - you always capture the very essence of your boys and how much you love and appreciate them.

But then your label, it almost made me cry.

Stop it, you.
barbra said…
Thanks so much for sharing with us!
Caterina said…
I think all your readers have already said it here. You inspire me as a mother. You motivate me as a woman. You give hope. Thanks!

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