Where has the time gone? As the years press on, I am this much closer to having a teenager in the house. I'm sure you know that with a teenager, whether male or female, comes the drama of the "tween" life. For me, I always thought this would be simple...after all, I didn't have girls... I never saw any of the boys my age go through the things I went through as a young girl. Ummm, not so much. It's a different kind of tween drama. I'm quickly learning that boys go through a different kind of drama, a sort of longing for acceptance if you will. I can see where these young men can easily fall off this treacherous path if not guided through life knowing the love of God and having the respect and love of a parent. Axton is only 11 years old and I have already seen changes in him. For those that don't know him, let me fill you in. Jax is his nickname, he is in the 5th grade this year. We are getting ready to make the big move into the middle school life. At first, I worried myself sick about this milestone. Why? You ask. It's not that I worried about him being mature enough, or even if he would have good friends and peers. I know that he is one smart cookie, so it wasn't even the fear of him falling short in his studies. It is in fact, the fear of the "real world". It's knowing he is no longer going to be exposed to something as small as the "elementary school" frame of mind. I am just now beginning to see all of the morals and values we have worked so hard to instill with in him coming into play. For example, he is currently playing baseball in a fairly competitive league. Jax has played with this same team now for two years. We feel truly blessed to be a part of such an amazing team. This year, the team received a new player. What you should know, is this, Axton and this young man have a sort of history. It started during football season last July. A sort of competitive battle ensued between the two boys. Our first day of school Axton goes into class, and low and behold, guess who is seated at Axton's table? I was extremely grateful when football season came to an end. I thought surely this battle would begin to ease a little. Boy, was I wrong. In everything and I do mean EVERYTHING that Ajax does, this young man feels the need to "one up" him. Whether it be in sports, PE, school work, or even girlfriends. Somehow, someway, this young man feels an empowering desire to be "better than" Axton. Do you know how hard it is to stay positive and show a positive level of adult maturity? All the while wanting to tell Axton to knock the kids block off! For those of you who don't know, I have been "blessed" with my father's patience and sharp tongue. This has definetly not worked in my favor :). For months now, I've listened to my son vent every day about how this young man has succeeded at getting under Axton's skin. There have been times when Scott and I, out of frustration, firmly tell Axton to ignore it. Generally, however, we listen and try to give the best advice possible given the situation. Yesterday the heavens opened, and the angels were singing. :) For the first time in all of this I saw this young man of ours exhibiting proof that he will soon be a stellar young man. He and I took a bike ride yesterday and ended up at the park by his school. We stopped there with his friend Nick to play a little hand ball. As we approached, we were greeted by a certain young man...(GOODY! I thought) Jax and Nick, being the respectful boys they are, said hello and asked if he and his brothers would like to play with us. Of course....they did. I was able to see first hand the behavior Axton had been telling me about. We weren't there but 5 minutes and the little punk had already tried to take off on Jax's bike, tackling him in the process, and was telling Axton how much he sucked at basketball because he missed a shot. As a mother bear, it took everything I had not to rip that child up by the hair on his head and read him the riot act. This behavior went on until Axton hit the "breaking point". He looked at this young man and said, "*---*(boy's name) God doesn't like ugly". :) He turned to me and said he was ready to go home. So, we hopped on the bikes and rode home. It wasn't until he and I were alone that I asked him about his statement. This is what he said, "Mom, I really dont like *---*. I try to be nice to him no matter how mean he is because God doesn't like ugly." I told him that I was proud of him because this behavior in return makes him the better person. I told him that I would have never been able to handle it like he did. He than said this, "It doesn't make me a better person, it just shows that God is in my heart and I don't have to be ugly to get my friends attention. I have God's attention and your's and dad's, what else could I need?"
It's not that our children are growing apart from us, it's that we are growing with our children. Growing in love with them more and more everyday. I look at Ax in a totally different light. He is a young man, growing more and more every day. He is loved and respected by his peers but more improtantly by us. For this I will forever be grateful! Thank you God for blessing me with three of the most amazing little men to ever walk the face of the earth.
Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks judgement.