Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Passports and driving and blood drives, oh my!

Life is busy at our house these days! We had a really great Christmas and had some time to relax and spend time together, but I feel like we're back in busy mode again already. 

Last night we got to do a really fun thing! Shawn bought me tickets to the So You Think You Can Dance tour and we got to go last night. I never watched that show before this season, but this season I watched because one of the contestants, Jim, is the son of one of my internet friends. Jim is a Korean adoptee and an absolutely AMAZING dancer. Seriously, the best. I could watch him dance all day. If you've never seen him dance, Google him, he's fantastic. I've known his mom for several years through an online Korean adoption group. So I turned into the show this season to watch him dance and cheer him on. He came really close to winning and he got to be part of the tour that the top 10 contestants get to do, so last night we went. And when Jim's mom found out that we were going, she asked him to get us meet and greet tickets! So last night we went to the show and then got to mingle with the dancers after the show and we got to meet Jim. He's even cooler in person, it was a really fun experience! 

Then today Shawn had the day off and we decided that we'd better get started on Josh's passport so he can go to France! I still can't believe that kid is going to France. We needed to get it done today because his acceptance paperwork has to be submitted in a few days and we have to have proof that he either has a passport or is in the process of getting one, but trying to find a passport office that is open and taking appointments during the Christmas holiday was trickier than we thought. We called around and decided that our best bet was to drive to the next county to do it. So we took a drive today to get the paperwork done. 

When we finished up at the office, Shawn suggested that Josh drive home. Josh has had his learners permit for about six months and can actually get his licence now, but he's supposed to do 50 hours of supervised driving with his parents first, and he doesn't have all the hours in. So he decided to drive the half hour home. On the backroads, because I'm too chicken to drive with him on the interstate! Josh actually is a pretty good driver. He's cautious and follows the rules. He does fine, I'm the problem lol! I am a huge chicken about driving with him. It gives me the same feeling that flying on an airplane does. Just a complete lack of control of the situation and like my life might end at any moment, lol. And again, Josh drives fine! It's not him, it's just me. And I don't like to drive with him because I'm afraid I make him nervous. I try to stay calm, but new drivers have no defensive skills and driving is just sort of scary. I don't really even like to drive myself all that much. 

But Josh drove us home today and he did absolutely fine. I survived, no one crashed the car or had a panic attack and it was all good. I'm proud of Josh for being a good driver and I'm proud of me for not being a big baby about it, lol. 

But while he was driving, I had a moment. When Josh was a toddler, before Matthew was born, I used to take him to the library several times a week for story time and just to get out of the house. There are a few libararies not too far from us, but I liked one a little farther out because it had a good story time lady. So I used to drive out to the library on one of the backroads with Josh all the time. And to this day, any time I drive down that road, it reminds me of when I used to take Josh to the library.

Well, today Josh drove ME down that road. That little boy I used to drive to story time is now driving me. And I had a moment where I realized this and saw how all the years had flown by and if he hadn't been driving at the time I think I would have hugged him and sobbed about all this growing up he's doing lately. Where did that little boy go? I swear I was just buying him Thomas trains and washing his ratty old blankie yesterday. At least it FEELS like yesterday! Now he's practically six feet tall, driving cars, going to France, talking about college and my sweet little boy feels all grown up! I'm so excited for him and SO sad at the same time. No one tells you about this part of parenting. Everyone tells you about the first part. The baby years, the toddler tantrums, all of those things. But no one tells you that one day you're going to be driving down the road and realize that the little boy in the backseat is now driving the car and that it's going to break your heart a little bit. I'm not ready to see my kids grow up. I'm not ready for this part yet. For a little second I wanted to cancel the passport and make him get out of the drivers seat and make him be little again. But unfortunately life doesn't work that way. Time moves on and your babies grow up. And truthfully, it's kind of amazing to watch. But it hurts a little bit too. 

And one more sign of growing up is that he's also right in the middle of his Eagle Scout project. He's putting together a Red Cross blood drive. It seemed easy enough when we came up with the idea, but wow, it's been a huge undertaking. He has signed up 95 people to give blood on January 9th and he's working on getting food donations and other things organized for the day of the drive. It's a huge job and it's really keeping him busy right now. I'm proud of how he's really stepped up and he's doing great leading a large committee of people to get this thing going, but I think we're all going to be glad when it's over. It's taking up a lot of his time right now. 

So that's what's going on in the life of being the parent of a teenager right now. People always talk about the teenager years like they're terrible, but I have actually loved raising a teenager. Despite the terror of driving with him and the sadness I feel about how fast it's all going by, so far the teenage years have been my favorite part of parenting. He's a great kid, he makes it easy. 

But I'm still not all that excited about getting back into the car with him. :) 

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