January 23, 2016: A Seat at the Big Table

Grant at a Creighton game ~ Fall of 2007
Baby Grant got his school driving permit yesterday. My days of carting kids and playing taxi driver are almost behind me. A bitter sweet time. Although I will be gaining a new found freedom, I have actually enjoyed this car time with the kids.

But instead I am reminded daily that my youngest is now a young man, not a child, and that he is no longer just the tag-along little brother. He played that role well for many, many years.

From the toddler to junior high, Grant watched hundreds of baseball, basketball, and football games with his brothers on the field. Grant's vantage point was typically in the stands, under the stands, or behind the stands. With his dad as coach for many of the teams, Grant would also tag along to practices; learning great skills in keeping himself busy and finding fun in people and things on his own.

Now almost 16, this training has served Grant well. He never lacks for something to do and is quite skilled, too much at times, in keeping himself busy and surrounded by friends.

Over the years Grant has loved to go to the Creighton basketball games. During the pre-double-digit years, Grant didn't miss a beat; wearing Creighton blue and painting his face to match. He sat by my side watching every play and participating in the dance-offs and big screen entertainment.

Turning ten, he became more interested in locating his friends and hanging with them. When not gathering behind the stands, he and his large contingent of pals would find empty seats to sit in together. Usually this meant the very top row in the nose bleed section. The best seats in the house, according to them.

For the last five years, although Grant would ride with me to most games, I wouldn't see much of him until the end. Last week, to my surprise, that changed. Like a child moving from the kid table to the adult table, Grant sat next to me in our designated season ticket spots. And he was by my side, enjoying a good game, all 5 foot 10 of him.

Prior to the game, I had an interchange with him that was very similar to years past.

Me: There's a Creighton game tonight. Do you want to go?

Grant: I don't know if anyone else is going.

Me: I'm not bringing anyone. You can sit by me.

Grant: Yeah. Sure.

And then he did. The whole game. Just like his adult brothers.

It's an interesting transition in a mother/son relationship as they move into their early adulthood years. I think this is especially true of the youngest. The baby. This is the hardest one for me to both let go and to accept.

After the game last week, I reflected on this transition that was becoming more and more apparent in our daily lives. Coincidentally I found our family Christmas card of 2007 when cleaning out a closet.

The words and pictures on this treasured find made me smile. Nine years have gone by. Really? Where did they go?

2007 was a year filled with joy and youthful happiness. Lots of car rides and boy fun. Grant was in his prime as the little brother. Zach was in his sweet spot of oldest brother as a busy eighth-grader turned freshman in high school. And Ben, always the middle child. But always with a clever idea and a smile on his face.

I have no doubt the adulthood years will continue to bring a whole new kind of joy. The boys will always fun. That I do not doubt. With others. With each other. And they will always make their mother smile.

A good thing :)


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