Celebrating Parenting Milestones


Parenting takes you down all kinds of roads.

Some of the roads are bumpy.  Some of the roads are smooth.

Sometimes is feels like you are moving along the road like a turtle – slow and steady.  Sometimes it feels like you are moving along on cruise control.  And sometimes it feels like you are navigating hairpin turns at breakneck speeds.

For me, it feels like the pace of my parenting journey is moving along at the speed of sound (that’s really fast for those of you wondering).

Sometimes it’s healthy to stop and reflect on what is actually happening.  That’s what this post is all about.  It’s a chance for me to stop (although it may be a brief stop), to reflect, and to rejoice in what God is doing in the lives of my children.

Family 2016 Mothers Day

Let’s start with my son.

Isaac Permit Test

Isaac just turned 16 last week.  He is turning into a man right before my eyes.  He is almost as tall as I am.  In fact, I would suspect I will no longer be the tallest person in the family by the end of the summer.

Isaac successfully passed the Pennsylvania Permit Test, and he is now eligible to drive under the instruction of a licensed driver.  I’ve been out with him twice so far.  Our initial “outings” have been limited to a couple of empty parking lots, but we will quickly be graduating to roads with other cars.  He’s doing a great job, and I’m excited for this step in his journey.

Isaac has been working outside of school to raise he level of his academics – specifically his reading.  I have been amazed to see the level of effort he is putting into this pursuit, and I can see that it is paying off.  Recently, he created a letter to send to a few music directors and teachers requesting some feedback to help him clarify his musical focus for the next few years.  Before he sent out the first letter, he let Leanne and me read it.  We were blown away by Isaac’s ability to clearly articulate his thoughts and questions into this letter.  Isaac is growing up.

At the end of April, Isaac had his last piano recital with the teacher he has had since he started playing the piano at age four or five.  His teacher is releasing him to pursue a higher level teacher.  She has taken him as far as she can, and she wants him to keep stretching.  Last week, he had his last lesson with her, and he will begin lessons with a new instructor this week.  I think we were all a little sad to say goodbye to Mrs. Clemmens, but we were honored and humbled by her wisdom in sending him on to an instructor who can advance him further.

Finally, Isaac is diligently working on his Eagle Scout project.  He is designing and building a disc golf course at our church.  At first, this sound easy.  If you think it’s easy, you would be wrong.  He has to fully document his proposal.  He has to get buy-in from several people in and out of scouts.  He has to raise funds to pay for the materials required to build the course.  And he has to coordinate manpower to actually build the course.  He is making steady progress, and I’m excited to watch him complete this project.  I know he his learning as a result of this experience.

Hannah Messiah

My daughter is keeping it interesting for Leanne and me.

Hannah PromHannah is on track to graduate from high school in June.  Last week, she completed her last official day of classroom time, and she moves into a three-week period of career study.  She will be working alongside a Spanish teacher at one of the area elementary schools.  I’m sure this will give her fantastic opportunities to see what it might be like to be a Spanish teacher.

Hannah had her last high school track meet this weekend.  She finished 8th in the 3200m and 3rd in the 4 x 800m relay at the conference championship meet.  Her team just missed winning the conference championship by a few points.  Running has brought Hannah a lot of opportunity to build her confidence, her running ability, and her leadership.  In addition, she has met some fantastic friends as a result her high school running career.  She is looking forward to running at the collegiate level.

Hannah finished up the academic side of her high school career by taking six AP (Advanced Placement) tests in a week.  Leanne and I are amazed by the intelligence and drive that comes out of our oldest child.  She is ready for college.  She’ll be attending Messiah College in the fall where she’ll be a Spanish Education major enrolled in the school’s Honors College.

Hannah TrackHannah’s moving into a period of time in which we celebrate the past and look ahead to the future.  She has received a few scholarships already, and we’re looking forward to celebrating the end of her high school career at several picnics and parties over the next few weeks.  It’s just hard to believe I have a child old enough to graduate from high school.  It seems like yesterday, Leanne and I were bringing Hannah home from the hospital for the first time.  We are proud of who she has become.

If you’re a parent of young children, don’t blink.  Don’t wish time would move faster.  Don’t rush through life to get to the next stage.  Life moves along fast enough by itself.  Learn to schedule margin into the busyness of life.  Learn to enjoy each moment.  Learn to celebrate along the way.  Learn to be content with the here and now.  Tomorrow will come sooner than you think.

Enjoy the journey!

What parenting milestones are you celebrating now?