There are moments, I feel, that may be forever seared in my memory.
Last night, I watched as my thirteen-year-old son, Isaac, drove off down the driveway with his big cousin and best friend, Gabe, who just got his license. Isaac is just becoming a "big kid", but Gabe is an official "farm kid."
Here's a picture I snagged of my little Hannah goofing around with him on the couch last week:
Farm kids are a "breed" unique unto their own. I've realized that the way they dress, the way they get strong, the way they tan, is defined by the work that they do. Gabe is an incredibly hard worker. And throwing feed bags and loading trucks has made him a really strong guy.
He also happens to be a good driver gosh darn it.
Let me explain why that's a problem ...They say never say never, and so I won't tell you that I had said: I'd never let my son drive with a brand new just-turned-sixteen-year-old-driver many times in my early parenthood years. I also, if you would have asked me, told you I won't let my thirteen-year-old son hang out with a sixteen-year-old. No way.
I guess that's how the expression, never say never, began, right? Mother of teenager realizes the things you thought would not be a part of your family are right there, right with you.
I blame COVID. Seared together by proximity and lack of, well, anyone else, Isaac bonded with his cousin despite the years between them.
I blame good parenting too because, truthfully, I trust Gabe. (Well, as much as anyone trusts a teenager.) He's raised right. They do things the same. Their rules are intense.
I blame my own love. I love Gabe. I love all the Kotynski kids. They've seared themselves into my heart, and they are forever part of our community, our family, our lives.
I also blame ... our farm. Our farm taught once-upon-a-time-twelve-year-old Gabe to drive a four-wheeler and a side-by-side and eventually, our farm truck. By the time he slid behind the wheel when he was fifteen, the kid was a stinkin' good driver.
(Seriously. He's been driving me and the kids around town for a year now, and he hasn't a single time made me nervous.)
So, last night, I let them go. I watched as they drove off to youth group. Just the two of them. Buddies. Without a grown-up.
That left five kids at home -- three of them belonging to me, and two belonging to Erin -- a gal that has become one of my dearest friends. We are doing life together. We are supporting each other. Oh how the Lord knew that we'd need each other as we supported our husbands, thrown into incredibly painful and challenging difficulties (one deployed overseas and one fighting a war at a hospital right down the road.)
And the temperature went down for the first time in a month, and our kids went outside and didn't want to come in, and the stresses and difficulties of the world melted away into races and cool weather and childhood as the five children who aren't teenagers yet played together, we celebrated.
Summer is melting away.
Fall is upon us.
Life is hard.
But there is beauty in the hard things.
Gosh, I love you guys, your kids and farm, your blog, everything. May God give you a wonderful day - the best ever! Kathy
I love this for you. I miss having community to do life with with this type of depth. I'm not sure I've had this since college.
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