I thought I had him figured out at five months. If he cried, you took him for a drive. Parenting at first seemed so difficult. Then I got cocky, I thought if I knew what he needed before the age of one my life would be easy. I was wrong.
Let us speed ahead sixteen years, heck almost seventeen years. That little boy that would cry until either parent would hold him is now too busy to stay at home. He has a life filled with possibilities. See I am unable to handle him, not that he is bad but that is growing up. He no longer wants to make sure we are nearby. As a matter of fact he rarely even notices if we are here. Not all the parenting books I read when he was a baby prepared me for this. I am much unprepared; I don’t know how to console myself. If only I could find a manual for living through the senior year as a parent.
Moreover, every parenting location I go to talks about babies and toddlers. Oh, I wish that time was sweet. The clinging was cute, and honestly, I loved every minute. Trace Adkins sings a song called “You’re Gonna Miss This,” no truer words were ever sung. I miss that little blond haired blue eyed wonder that spent that summer crying because it was July in Texas and he was wearing a 100 percent polyester baseball uniform that was dark blue. Those moments I treasure. Raising my sons has been a tremendous joy. I have pictures of Dunk (nickname made up by Duno) being a little three-year-old red faced because a photographer he didn’t know at preschool was taking his picture. He said she was a stranger and trying to act friendly.
I fondly remember the day we found out that he was near-sighted; the teacher thought he was refusing to read off the board. Come to find out hard to read a board when you can’t read past three feet. Then another time he was a little boy of five, he wanted to ride the tractor with his daddy. When daddy planted he always rode, but we had a very firm policy if daddy was using chemicals Dunk had to stay at the house. I remember his grandpa hollering outside for him, he told me he saw his John Deere hat going up the dirt lane between the plots of weeds. This too was July, and the rattlesnakes travel that path when you least expect it. As I called Dunk he ran faster towards the field where daddy was. The lane was long and narrow. I ran and ran after him, when I caught him he was crying for his daddy and his tractor. He cried and cried until he fell asleep on Grandma’s bed.
Dunk is over six feet now. John Deere is not his toy, his blanket or hat it is his job. John Deere is his future; agribusiness will be his major in August. Mere words cannot express my happiness and sadness. He will be over three hours away from Mommy and Daddy, and he is not sad about it. The farm will continue, John Deere will continue but his family will miss him every moment he is not with us.