Monday, November 17, 2008

Alex is 16

Today is Alex's 16h birthday. Wow. How can he be that old when I am still 28?

Shannon got up early and took him to Tama to get his license. Both Marshalltown and Waterloo DMV's are closed on Mondays, and he was bummed that he wouldn't be able to get his license today. The deed is done and he's now an official driver, between 5:30am and 12:30am.

It seems like it's only been a few months since I took his picture and posted it here when he got his driver's permit.

Alex continues to make us proud. He is very smart and does great work when he wants to. He's beginning to spend more and more time in his bedroom and not with the rest of us, which makes me kind of sad. I'm not quite ready to start letting go.

Alex was a breech baby, and I had to have a c-section to deliver him. I can remember lying in bed with Shannon the night before he was born and crying because I just wasn't ready to be responsible for a little child, and knowing that our lives were going to change drastically at 8:00 the next morning. The delivery went fine, and at 8:23am we had a beatiful little boy. His daddy was so proud. He just KNEW that he would have a boy first, although we left it for a surprise until the delivery.

It's impossible to describe the emotions a mom feels when that baby is laid in her arms for the first time. Love most of all, fear, uncertainty, fierce protectiveness. When Alex was a baby, we were SO afraid of making mistakes with our parenting. We agonized over what to feed him, what toys to let him play with, what to let him watch on TV. We determined that we weren't going to let him play with guns, because they were too violent. The next thing we knew, he was running around the house with a banana in his hand shooting at us. Needless to say, we've relaxed a little (LOT!) in our parenting style, but we still want the very best for him and all of our children.

Although Alex has been our "guinea pig", we pray that he will forgive us for the mistakes we have made, and know that he was our very first love. We'll do anything we can to help him grow up, even if that means he has to make some mistakes and fall before he learns how to run. I wish I could take all of those hits and falls for him, but I can't.

The past year has been a little hard on Alex, as he is making the transition from boy to man. It's difficult being the oldest child in a large family, and the position holds a lot of responsiblilty. Although Alex didn't volunteer for the position, God put him there because He thought he could handle the job. Alex is stepping up and fulfilling the role God has him in at this time in his life.

Alex has shown great spiritual growth in the past year. We're proud of the decisions he has made regarding his life, and pray that he will always put God first in his life and stay focused on the important things.

One morning a week Alex is a garbage man. He has held the job for almost two years now. The pay is decent, and it keeps him in spending money. The schedule works well for our family, as Tuesday is Shannon's day off, and we don't routinely schedule school on that day. We just extend our school year to make up for the difference. Jackson is his partner on the route.

I wanted to take a picture of Alex with his new license by his new car this morning, but when I got my camera out, it was broken. The screen on the back is all mottled and no picture shows up. We'll have to take it to Best Buy and have them repair it. Extended warranties are a must in our household, and we've been pleased with their service. We'll post pictures when available.

Alex starts basketball practice today. He lost about 18 pounds when he was sick at the end of the football season, so we're hoping he's got the stamina to keep up with everyone.

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6


Sara said...

Tell Alex Happy Birthday, and in reading this it also made me feel very old. I remember when you first came to church and you only had Alex and then Jackson. Watching them grow up has been great fun and it gives me hope for my boys that I haven't screwed up to much Love all of you

Beckysblog said...

Happy Birthday Alex! I cannot begin to imagine having a 16 year old.
I feel better knowing that you were at one time terrified of parenting...because you are a pro now. It gives me hope!