Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Where Has the Time Gone?

I think it was a month ago Isaac was a preschooler catching bugs in the backyard.  Last week he was a kindergartner feeding his imaginary crocodiles like Steve Irwin of Croc Hunter fame. A day or two ago he was an 8 year old fighting off entire invading armies in the backyard while he himself was armed only with a large stick. Now he's turning 17 and he's 6'3".  He has a deep voice, broad shoulders, and his father has to admit he can't keep up with the boy any more.  This is my baby...only he's no baby. 

He's been a hunter since he was 12 years old and most years he's been able to put some venison on the table (we hunt for cheap, organic meat, not for bloodsport).  He's been to Coney Island to work with the homeless and to New Orleans to help in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.  This summer alone he has helped put a new roof on three houses and helped build two decks.  He's traveled to Arizona to work on a Navajo Reservation and to Wyoming for a grueling backpacking trip.  He also worked bringing in hay for a friend's father who is a dairy farmer.  Anyone who has done farm work knows bringing in hay is hard, hot, exhausting work. Those aren't the activities of a baby. 

Sometimes his dad gets on his case for not having enough ambition but he worked to earn the money to travel to and from Wyoming and to pay for part of his Arizona trip.  And though he doesn't have his driver's license yet he is saving up more money to pay for car insurance.  In the meantime he doesn't think anything of hopping on his bicycle and pedaling 15 miles one way to go visit a friend.  Mind you we do not live in a flat part of the world.  There are lots of very steep grades around here.  I think some credit is due for not expecting handouts and the parent taxi.

The boy loves sports and excels in them.  He was frustrated in baseball and football by testosterone-soaked, neanderthal coaches who motivate by shame and humiliation.  He wasn't about to put up with that any longer.  He has since discovered track & field, which he LOVES.  This year, although he has never before played a single game of soccer in his life he was recruited for the soccer team as a goalkeeper the week before the season started.  He's tall, fast, willing to dive, and willing to learn.  The coach is happy to have him and even when Isaac made a seriously awful rookie mistake in his first varsity game, costing a goal, the team and the coach laughed it off and regarded it as a teachable moment.  He admits he knows NOTHING about the game (as evidenced by his mistake) but he is heartened by the decency of his coach and teammates....and glad to have a fall sport to play.  He's come a long way too from the days when he completely tore himself down over any mistake he made on whatever field of play.  Oh, and he has continued corresponding with some Navajo students he met in Arizona...so he can continue to encourage them in their athletic pursuits after a couple of them asked for advice with regard to training for their track & field events.  He also participates in a basketball group reaching out to at risk youth.

He's well into his teen years now and sometimes a teenage boy can be hard to connect with for a mother.  He doesn't want to be seen as a baby. I understand.  Well, he's my youngest so he's always going to be my baby..but I can also see and appreciate he's becoming a man.

14 comments:

Craig said...

Thanks for this, Lime. . .

I love your proud-mommy moments. And even more, I'm happy for you that your kids are such as to make you so proud.

Sounds like a solid young man. Heck, just knowing that the Universe doesn't revolve around him is pretty remarkable, these days. . .

Barbara Shallue said...

What a sweet tribute... but he sounds like such an amazing young man! I know you're proud, and have every right to be. And yes, he'll always be your baby - I get it. (I'm a mom... and the 'baby'.)

Stephen Hayes said...

Yes, he does sound like a fine and remarkable young man, but kids like this don't happen by accident and I'm sure he received some quality parenting along the way.

Logophile said...

My sixteen year old has just discovered cross-country and has really been enjoying the difference in coaching styles too.
He plans to do track and field in the spring. I am so glad he's stepped away from the idiot-coach type sports.
Thing One came over and laid his head on my shoulder while we were talking about some stuff last night and it was a very sweet and welcome moment that doesn't come as often as I'd like.

They are growing up! (smile, sob)

Suldog said...

Forgive me for not heaping praise on the boy (which he seems to richly deserve.) I'll instead congratulate you and yours for providing him the environment and love that allowed him to become what he is. Well done, Mom!

Bijoux said...

Awesome, Lime. We have a connection of having two girls and then a boy. There will always be a part of me that is deeply sad he had to grow up.

for a different kind of girl said...

You've clearly raised a young man to be so very proud of. He sounds like he's the type who is going to conquer many goals in life. This is a tribute to him, but I think his nature is a tribute to you and his father for the outlooks and actions you've instilled.

(it's still damn sad they have to grow up so fast, though, isn't it?!)

Beach Bum said...

Where Has the Time Gone?

Great post and I wonder the same thing everyday when I look at my kids.

Daryl said...

he sounds like a really well brought up young man ... he's for sure going to make his mark and help bring about change .. but, yes, he is and always will be your baby. m

Mona said...

Holy Cow! Issac has really grown fast! He can play basketball well I'm sure, with that height!

coopernicus said...

he looks like the backwoods philosopher...ready to take on the world...

Dave said...

A full and wonderful description of your son Michelle. He sounds like a sympathetic and helpful young man who finds fulfilment in helping people. Your husband perhaps doesn't realise that his son's life already has lots of purpose - Dave

Hilary said...

What a sweet, tender post. You have much reason to be proud.. of the boy and of your rearing skills. You've raised a fine, young citizen. And your pride shines all the way up here. :)

Jocelyn said...

He's crazy awesome, and your post is something I've longed for: an Isaac-specific tribute. I had no idea I wanted one until I read it. He's amazing (kudos to you, Mom), and I'm sooo happy he's playing soccer and into track & field! Now THOSE are sports. It takes a special personality to handle the pressures of being goalie, I've always said.