Today our son is 18 years old. He’s technically a legal adult and told his sisters this morning he can buy a lottery ticket today and gets to vote this fall. Oh, the freedoms! It’s a day to remember, celebrate and be thankful I get to be to his mom. 18 years ago today changed my life for the better. It’s half my life ago now. I was only his age when I became his mother and I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for Hunter James being my son.
In the coming months of his senior year of high school, I am going to share and write more about Hunter. Purposefully, I haven’t shared as much over the past few years. He is one of my social media rules: I don’t share a lot about our teenager because I am grateful my mom didn’t have a blog when I was a teenager.
Being a teenager is difficult and challenging and I don’t document those daily moments. I share some of Hunter’s highlight reel moments, his work towards successes and wins. We are proud of him. But what we are most proud of has nothing to do with accolades, awards or wins.
Hunter’s character, living out his Christian faith and his ability to persevere through pivotal moments makes us most proud.
A few other top of mind thoughts I have today while cooking in my kitchen include if you are a parent of younger children, it goes faster than everyone tells you. No matter how you try, life keeps moving faster with each year.
My advice is create moments and memories with your kids. Document the moment with a quick picture whether they want to or not.
We cannot get the moments back but they build relationships and treasured memories.
Hunter was ten years old when Elizabeth was born and almost twelve when his sister Anika was born. His kindness and love he shows them is also something I am proud of.
Hunter cares about people. He shows that at home, on the field, on the court, in church and in school.
Hunter is also a competitor. He’s fierce and wants to win. I often say it’s not a trait you can coach or parent into a child. Either they have it or they don’t. Hunter has fire and it’s thrilling to watch and difficult with disappointments. He also is well-rounded, far more than I ever was or will be. He loves music more than he wants to admit and has stuck with piano, trumpet and choir through school along with sports of football, basketball, track and baseball. One of his greatest joys of high school has been involvement in the Wishek FFA chapter.Hunter has dealt with loss in the past but this summer he has struggled with his greatest earthly loss in losing his best friend, Zach and Zach’s brother, Connor. It’s private and difficult. As he said to me this week, “I miss him more now than ever before. Everything reminds me of him.” Many family members and friends that long for Zach and Connor can relate. But we know for sure through our faith that Zach and Connor were Jesus loving boys who are now in heaven. It gives Hunter some peace on trying days.I believe that Hunter, at age 18 and forevermore will do all that he can to live for the day and give glory to God. He’s changed from this summer. He’s stronger. He’s more secure in who he is and what he doesn’t need to try to be. His life perspective has matured. Despite all the hurt, he’s happy and excited for the future.
In late July, Hunter committed to the University of North Dakota to play football beginning in the fall of 2016. This will open a new chapter and we are excited for him. Later this year I will share more about his decision and how it came about so we can look back someday on this and remember.
For now, we are enjoying today. First we will celebrate over pizza with our family business employees where Hunter works. After football practice tonight, the Mustangs football team and coaches are coming to our house for a pasta supper. Tomorrow is their first game so it’s a pre-game meal and an easy way to have a birthday celebration for Hunter. I need to get cooking!