August 20 would be any other day to me except for this year! Our oldest one is 16, driving on his own and typically I am OK with all that. However, tonight he left home to pick up his girlfriend for the first time and to take her out to eat for her 16th birthday. Please wait while I grab another tissue!
I snapped this picture of him right before he left, acting like I wanted a picture of him and Dallas, who is proudly sporting his Pittsburgh Steelers jersey! (remember we love football!) I believe Brendan saw right through me though because he objected to more picture taking as he got into the truck and pulled out of the drive way.
The truth is, I have known this day was coming and he has had this very sweet and good spirited girlfriend off and on for a few months. We really do like her! They go to school together, she cheers and he plays sports and on and on and on. And so tonight, on HER 16th birthday, I stood in our drive way waving goodbye to our baby boy all the way down the street, yelling reminders about using his manners and not honking the horn when he picks her up and wiping his mouth after he eats. I should probably say that I have no intention of being like Ray Romano's mom on Everybody Loves Raymond but I am willing to admit I might have those tendencies within me. I'm truly praying about it!
But back to first date night!
For those of you who know Brendan you will be laughing along with me as you envision him on a date in a real restaurant. He is as much of a tightwad as they come!! Not just frugal but truly tight fisted with the spending of the money! I am hoping she was content to order water, no appetizer and eat off the kiddie menu! But he wouldn't take my money as he left out the door, saying this was the time for him to show responsibility. And that's when I realized he is somewhere between a kid and a young man. If someone at the hospital would've just told me how emotional this moment might have been I would've greatly appreciated it! I might have been better prepared!!
Tonight I realized that little by little I am letting go of my child, our firstborn, trusting more and more that God will lead him and protect him. So, again I am sharing another family milestone with you. Some of you have lived through this and some of you have little ones and think this day for you is far away. Let me assure you it is not! From 6 to 16 happened in the blink of an eye. Enjoy each stage, make memories at every age because letting go is hard to do....