I wish I could have seen him as he is now five years ago when he was struggling in school. He has always been smart, but now he is more focused and responsible. I don't worry when the school calls anymore because the feedback I'm getting about him is usually positive. Math is still his jam. He transferred into band this year. He's playing the trombone and his teacher is thrilled that he is easily making up the two year gap as his peers started in the 6th grade.
He has been cycling through sports; fall is volleyball, winter is futsal, spring is soccer, summer is tennis. He is competitive which means he is hard on himself when he doesn't do well.
This summer, he and Stephen went on a backpacking trip. Our church youth group has these programs to help kids connect with significant mentors and God. They often involve intense trips in nature. The leadership is encouraging parents to be intentional about the "coming of age" process. Stephen and I have had many discussions about how we can help both our boys as they enter manhood. Manhood doesn't have anything to do with sports or extreme outdoor adventures. It has everything to do with being kind and curious. It has everything to do with them knowing their worth and the worth of others. It has everything to do with identifying values that will guide their lives.
Schroeder struggles at times to vocalize his desires and emotions. When I ask him questions, I need to give him time and a safe place to share. Sometimes, though, I just yell "SPEAK UP!"
Schroeder is growing, growing, growing. On his birthday, he was my height. Now, six months later, he is several inches taller than me. I'm eager to see how much he continues to grow in all areas.