This is the first snapshot I took in this new year.
Hunter brought in the new year by running out the front door and throwing off snappers, snakes, and sparklers with the neighbors, while I talked to my family back home on skype. Oh, and I can't forget that they also gave him some sort of party horn. Which he blew for about 45 minutes.
I took this picture, though, minutes ago. He was celebrating with his "puppies", one of whom I just sewed the tail back on. He really was happy. I don't know what the silly face is about. I took a couple more, but to be honest to the first-picture-of-the-year, this is it.
As I was sitting there snapping pictures, realizing how huge my almost-half-a-decade-old son is, I realized that the next time we celebrate the turning of a decade together, my little baby boy is going to be a young man.
And even though to the modern world, a fifteen-year-old is still considered a child, historically speaking, and even still in most of the world today, a teenager is, yes, a young man.
And by the time that a child has reached that age, I believe at least, a parent's job is, in one very large sense of the word, over.
It's not that an adolescent doesn't need his parents anymore. Just that their influence has diminished, quite greatly, from the total and all-surpassing influence apparent during infancy to that of a companion and guide. Beliefs cannot be forced on a young adult and, the raising of the child, I believe, is virtually over.
Am I really ready for that? A decade ago certainly doesn't seem so far past. I remember 2000 quite well. Can I really accomplish all that I want to accomplish in the fleeting amount of time I have been given?
It's an overwhelming thought on my mind, to say the least. It's one of those "Spiderman moments", sitting there and truly realizing the weight of the truth that, with great power comes great responsibility.
My reflection on my inadequacy is frightfully overwhelming. But thankful that God's grace is sufficient, somehow, someway...
If your child is to latter cherish you, you must cherish him every day, every hour of his development. There are no neutral moments in a child’s life. Every moment is a time of continuous need and development.
Debi Pearl, co-author of To Train Up A Child
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
Hunter is 4 years, 9 months old