A big milestone in our house happened yesterday. Taylor turned the ripe old age of 14. Why is 14 so important? Well, now he can get a permit and work, at least for money legally now. Free labor, I can assure you, is still in full force at our house.
Anyway, it is hard to think about the short amount of time he has left in our home. It's actually kind of scary.
Have I taught him to be kind? To be a helper of those less fortunate? To give his best in everything that he does? To love the Savior? I think that there are things I have significantly failed at but then he will do something that makes me realize I may not have done too bad of job after all.
*I love when he thinks about his siblings. It may not seem like much, but the other day he was somewhere and brought home a small candy cane for Hinckley and McKay. It was this simple, small act of kindness that let me know he does think of others.
*He seems to run out of his lunch money fairly quickly. The other day I asked him why and he said he doesn't seem to understand why either, so I decided to look at a listing of how he was spending money. As I was going through each item with him, I got these responses, "Oh, that was for so and so, he didn't have lunch today", "So and so forgot his lunch" and a few more like that. I was floored and also humbled and reminded that I shouldn't be so quick to judge what appears to be a kid just spending money because it's there.
*Wrestling has been a new experience for him. He wanted to quit but I asked him to give it a month. A couple of months later and he is still going and I have even noticed him "mentally" preparing before his match where as before he would just sit and look around, biding his time. He wants to get better. He even practices, A LOT, with his brother Grant. (Well, at least until Grant realizes he isn't going to win then Grant goes ballistic, but that is another story...)
*Teaching your kids to love God is hard. Taylor is at the age where he has to decide for himself. But I do see small changes in his desire to know more. We talk a lot about everything and I love that he will question me on even the smallest matter. I have even caught him reading his scriptures without provocation a time or two. He reminds me of me. He is going to have to KNOW for himself that the gospel is true. He won't rely on ANYBODY else telling him it is true or what to believe. He will be the one to decide. I love that about him.
A few other things...
This kid was born at 9 pounds 1 ounce and is skinny as rod but eats like a horse. His baseball coach is convinced his metabolism could run a small country. Seriously, eats me out of house and home. But he knows how to cook!
He isn't concerned about girls yet. Thank goodness. I remind him all of the time that any money spent on a girl now is just money spent on another man's wife. I also love that he will talk to me about anything relationship related. My advice: Don't be afraid to talk to your kids. Lay it out for them and be honest. Keeping things a secret will only spark their interest more.
He can do anything he put his mind to. He lost his phone because he was saying "fake" bad words and I got tired of it. He had to make it 30 days without saying anymore to earn it back. He made a chart and counted down the days. He had to restart one time (about 10 days in...at that point he finally realized that I wasn't going to just "let it go") and after that, he was determined to not have it happened again. At he didn't. He would catch himself and think about what he was going to say before he said it, especially in heated situations.
He isn't perfect, as none of use are, but he really is a good kid. He is my firstborn. He will always be my baby. He will always be mine.
I love you Taterbug!
His special day included dinner from his favorite Chinese restaurant, Wok in Motion, cupcakes, ice cream and presents. He got money from Grandparents, a couple of Bass Pro Shops gift cards and a camping backpack that he wanted. I think he was pretty happy about that!
Letting his brother help him open the present because Hinckley thought it was his.