This week I saw my second son graduate. It was not old hat, as some moms told me it would be. It was tender and exhilerating and happy and everything else, just like Jeff's was. Johnathan is so different from Jeff, and I rejoice in that. Because of that, our experiences with his schooling and graduation have been singular and special in their own way. He is an extraordinary boy-sensitive and smart and hard-working.
He also graduated from seminary tonight with 4 years of perfect attendance. You may scoff and say "But it's in his house, big deal." Not so. Neither of my other sons has that accomplishment. He has just as much of a chance of oversleeping as anyone else. So, I am really proud of him for that. He spoke tonight at the ceremony and focused on missionary work and on his plans to serve a mission. He spoke of Eric's conversion story in college as well as some of Jeff's mission experiences. It was definitely a moment that helped enlarge the view of motherhood to include a few tangible rewards.
He continues his strides into the real world this week as he gears up for his Eagle Project on Saturday. I'm happy that he chose to set that goal, and I'm okay with him getting it at the last minute, because he has taken ownership of the process. It will really be his Eagle award. I'd rather him do it this way and experience the weight of responsibility than race to have it done by a certain age and have it basically be earned by me. I only push so far in these types of activities-the rest had to come from him. Soon, he gets to feel the flush of accomplishment, not me.
Anyway, here is a brief photo retrospective of the life of Johnathan-my darling second son...most like me in personality of any of my kids, yet filled with the strength of his dad-a very nice combination.
Here is is as a newborn. He ended up being a planned C-section so I remember getting up , showering , putting on a cute comfy outfit, a little make-up, doing my hair and going to the hospital--totally relaxed. It was actually a relief for me because with Jeff I had labored for 12 hours then had the C-section anyway(he never even entered the birth canal). We knew Johnathan was at least a pound bigger and the doctors figured I just had no chance of delivering him. Then, they put me, all cute and relaxed and reading a book while I waited to be prepped for surgery, in the regular labor ward! (this was a long time ago, ladies-birthing suites and centers were still a novelty unless you lived in California) so all these dear, miserable, laboring women had to watch me be wheeled past. I protested and they let me wait in the hall. Sheesh. ...
Everything went fine-I have been blessed with very uncomplicated C-sections and was usually back up on my feet in a week or two.
This was when he was about two. Jeff is 4. I was all of 24 going on 25 here. Johnathan has had every kind of hair-curly and very dark, dark auburn, straight, silky and bright red and here, fading to a lovely strawberry blonde and already so thick so as not to be believed in one so young.
Here he is three, and his hair has gone totally blonde. He never was a towhead-that beautiful white blonde (like Corinne's sweet little Preston) but always a lovely light, golden, ripe-wheat- rippling-in-the-breeze kind of color. It will still lighten up to that in the summer. He wore this style of red, round glasses from the time he was 2 1/2 till he was about 6 or 7, then we couldn't find them any more. I picked out the first pair because he was so little, then I guess he got used to seeing his face in those glasses and he picked them out on his own thereafter. I LOVED that Harry Potter's glasses were round.
Fast forwarding quite a bit, here is his standard pose for helping me set my lights for a studio shoot. I love this though, because he is quiet and not that demonstrative, but he really has a wonderful sense of humor and fun. Its good to see a serious, sensitive kid be silly sometimes.