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Never in a million years did I think that I would be here. Here; with a 14-year-old child who is prepping giddily for graduation day. As he runs around making last-minute preparations for his valedictory speech (yep, he’s top of the class) and sending out invites for his graduation barbecue this Saturday, I’m busy trying to figure out when the heck all of this happened. Even while I wander around one of my favorite Chicago grocery stores (Mariano’s if you’re wondering) picking up things to help make his first graduation party a success, I’m still in disbelief. So, I’m not going to think about that. Instead, I’m going to think about the last breakfast that he will ever have as an 8th grader. The last breakfast that I will make him as an elementary school student, and the last time that I will be able to impart words of wisdom into him as a “kid.”
There are many things that I hope for my son. I want him to be successful, but I don’t want the search for success to run his life. I want him to be well off, but I don’t want him to let money guide his actions. I want him to be the same sweet, and gracious little boy that he has been since the first day he entered Dodge Renaissance Academy. I want him to still look at things in wonder and work to figure out how they function. I want him to still laugh at random things, and even cry at things that touch him. I want him to stand tall in the face of adversity and never cower at those who may have opinions that differ with his. I want him to continue to be respectful, and respectable. I want him to enjoy these last precious years of childhood, because I know in my heart that I’ll be holding onto them for dear life.
We’ll be moving soon. So many moves for us, but for Nathaniel especially. He’s moving from a neighborhood of established friendships into one where he’ll be the first kid on the block. He’s moving to a school that NONE of his current classmates even thought about attending, and he’s entering in as one of the newbies since lots of the children have been there since Pre-K. Each day, I want to make sure that he knows that no matter how rough or tough life gets, he always has our home and our arms to come back to.
For some reason, this grocery trip seems bittersweet. I’m picking up eggs, bacon, and the ingredients to make some more homemade biscuits (that he loves) and fighting the urge to cry. I’m looking at orange juice and remembering how he used to ask for JOOTH when he was younger and lacking his two front teeth. I’m slowly looking around and wondering when this became my life. Me. The mom of a teenager. Of a young man. When did I start asking for his help in reaching items in the kitchen, or opening jars? I’ve always been that person for him, and now, he takes the place of his dad when he is gone from the house.
After attending his ribbon pinning last year, and seeing the hugs that his sister gave him I realize that now, Nathaniel will be fully walking in his role as big brother and guide. I’ll trust him more to direct his siblings, even while I continue to give him direction in school and life.
Mr. Houseful and I are excited for him to start school – we really are. We are excited for him to start school at the small private high school that he fell in love with. We’re excited for him to meet people from various cultures and walks of life. We’re excited to see the growth that is sure to come, and the young adult that he turns into.
Just let me get through breakfast.
If you want to make those homemade biscuits (as I’m sure you already know how to make bacon, eggs, and grits) It’s pretty simple. For the easy version you need
2 cups of SELF RISING FLOUR
2 sticks of butter
Cut pieces of the butter into the flour and mix in until it’s almost a crumbly set. Pour buttermilk in until it’s combined Roll out onto floured surface and then cut into biscuits. You can use a cup, or a biscuit cutter, depending on what you have. Cook for 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Serve immediately with an array of jams, honey, or build your own breakfast sandwich. Just make sure to eat slowly, and talk freely. Days go by so quickly.
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