Spring Break 2015! According to 5 out of 6 Repennings, this spring break was wonderful! I'm a fan of the "staycation" especially when that's all one can afford. Besides, why do you need to go far, when we have the beauty of Colorado right outside the front door?
Faith, Will, Little Sass, and I have spent the bulk of the week thoroughly enjoying our time together…picnic in the park, seeing Cinderella, a visit to Jump City, and hanging with friends. Of course I'll never forget the day we played Rummikube, laughing our heads off, or sitting on the back deck eating lunch and remembering stories from years gone by. These are the days and the memories that matter most.
While the rest of us were living the dream, 15 year old Jack, was occupied for four full days of Driver's Education. His Spring Break wasn't very fun, if you factor in having to wake up early to get to a classroom to watch startling videos all day. I will do you the favor and NOT describe what he saw on screen during his four days of education. You are welcome. His class was taught by a former police officer, and he said, "Mom, he yells at us all day long! And by the way, you are a terrible driver! You don't drive defensively at all!" I didn't think the last part was necessary to add, but he did and I forgive him for being so critical.
I do think it's important to mention that Jack spent more money on lunch during his four days of class than I spend in a year on lunch. He went to Subway, McDonalds, Sonic, Subway again, and then to King Soopers to buy candy to eat through the afternoon session each day. By the 3rd day, when he asked for cash, I said rather abruptly, "get it from your own stash you entitled little snot". I wasn't proud about my sharp tongue, but someone had to explain to the boy the importance of stretching a dollar.
On the final day of class, Jack took his permit test and thankfully he was successful! Some of the other parents tried to be cool when their kids came out with the test results, but I fear I was not one of them. I greeted him a little too loudly as he walked out with, "How'd you do? Did you pass? Are you okay? Do we have to pay to take it again?" He tried to fake me out with, "Mom I failed", but I knew he was lying. His light bright eyes told me everything and I knew before the day was over, Jack was going to be behind the wheel.
Once we were close to home in the safety of our neighborhood, I pulled over. I told him it was time to swap seats with me. Reluctantly he did, and as he slowly and fearfully pulled out onto the street I calmly reminded him he needed to buckle up. While I guided him through the familiar streets, I had to focus on our safety rather than where my mind really wanted to go. Instead of remembering the time he rode his bike into the mailbox, or how he fell going too fast on his scooter down the driveway, I had to stay the course and instruct him. This was no time to think about all the crashes he'd experienced on these roads, the hundreds of times he came home needing bandaids and ointment, hugs and kisses.
The stakes are so much higher now, and there's no going back to simpler days with our sweet Jack. One of the hardest parts of accepting this fate, is that he longs for the past even more than we do. Some kids can't wait to grow up, but not Jack. At 15, he is mature and sweet, however, he retains the innocence of a boy who is content to sit down with a new Lego set for hours while his friends are meeting up at the mall. His idea of the best night ever is watching a movie with his family and a never-ending bowl of popcorn in his lap.
Just like all the corny songs say, as much as you might want, you can't turn back time. They're right, dangit. We are choosing to embrace the day, even though sometimes the fear rattles my bones. Just this morning, Billy and Jack left the house before 6:30 a.m. to head to the DMV to beat the crowds and get his official permit. All the while they waited, they froze their butts off, and did the weird dad/son thing they do when I'm not around. They were in and out, back home before 9, to face the day just like the rest of the world. Jack drove again, and this time he remembered to buckle up. He wasn't as timid as the day before. And as he grows in confidence, my heart grows with delight. Tonight I will go into his room to say goodnight. We will pray as we have done for the past 15 years. I will pray for safety of all my children and loved ones. I will thank God for His faithfulness. And I will ask God to hold us all tightly, as we are all learning to let go.