We survived the first and second rounds of children flying the coop.
We are now looking at the third and final coop escape.
He's had his driving permit for one year today. He's not rushing out to get that full license though. Despite driving all last year on our trips to and from his school; it is obvious that he's not quite mentally prepared for this step into independence. It is coming though; I can see it and feel it.
There are little steps towards maturity and independence becoming more and more obvious.
Take today for example; David and I ran to town to pick up a few things and as we walked out the door sent a text up to Hunter....as we pulled out of the driveway we got a list from him as a reply..."chicken feed, cat feed, trash bags" it read. It doesn't matter that those were the exact things we were headed out for (with both David and I planning our own additions to the cart i.e. chocolate milk for me and pastry for him ; ) - what matters is that this 16 year old knew what was needed in the house and made sure that we were all on the same page. This is something that we have worked on for years....you know, him taking some responsibility for household chores and needs?
And then there was the other night. Hearing something different in the way the dogs were barking at about 10 p.m, he came downstairs, got a flashlight and his shoes and took off to investigate. Now this might not sound like much, but back in April we had an encounter with two bobcats who were running the fence line and that was not quite the reaction he had that time. While he wasn't actually scared stiff in April, there was still evidence of the boy needing the protection of his mom and dad; this time, it was "stay here Mom, I've got it".
While these are positive things, I already know the end result....my "baby" is about to grow all the way up. Next comes that drivers license and more and more texts to say "I'll be awhile Mom, we're hitting the Burger King for a bit" or something. Then, he'll ask if he can get a part time job to finance his video game addiction. And then, he'll be driving away to college....and so while I might smile a bit when I see these acts of added maturity, I also have a little pain in my heart.