My son is seventeen today.

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My son is seventeen today. Who let that happen? I want to write something poignant and funny, but it just isn’t flowing like that this morning.

Some days I’m shocked when this young man walks into the room towering over me and saying, Hey mom what’s there to eat?” I keep expecting to see my young son and his little sister belly crawl across the floor in camo and face paint. And while I might still see Logan doing that he couldn’t talk Tala into it any more.

I don’t miss those days- I was there for them, every single one. My husband and I chose to have me stay at home. We chose to live with one car, no cable, no insurance, and just above poverty level so I could stay home and home school our kids. When I see Logan I know it was all worth it.
I gave myself until my kids turned 25 to decided if I had done a good job as a parent. I know I’ve made mistakes- I can easily list them- but over all I’ve done a good job, and I know this because my son is awesome.

Logan is everything I had hoped he would be- kind, thoughtful, respectful, strong, intelligent, self-assured, independent, self-motivated, and adventurous.
When Logan was a baby I was holding him up in front of a mirror and he was smiling at himself the way babies do, and I remember thinking I hope he always looks in the mirror and feels that way about himself, and I think he does.

I also said- while pregnant- that Calvin’s parent (from Calvin and Hobbs- just didn’t appreciate him enough. I have regretted saying that- as I think my son has stopped my heart dozen of times as he climbed light poles, jumped from the top of one play structure to another, fell from twenty feet in the air doing aerial silks, did basic training with Sea Cadets in another state, studies parkour or free running, and next year he wants to go to Kenya. KENYA! None of us even have a passport, but my son is headed so far away I won’t even be able to reach him if he needs me. Not that he will. But still- I will be freaking out.

Some how I have managed to keep my ass in my chair and let my son be who he is and explore the world. How did I do it? It’s easy. I didn’t watch. I sat with my back to Logan and as other mom’s would gasp with fear as he made it ¾ up a light pole I would listen, and wait to find out if he needed me. I kept my fears and worries to myself- well other then ranting to my husband- and I let my son be who he is. And I think it’s the greatest thing I have ever done.

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About alicamckennajohnson

Alica McKenna Johnson writes about snarky girls, kind boys, and the adults trying to keep them alive. After day dreaming for the first thirty years of life, Alica finally began writing her stories down, much to the delight of her readers. As Alica sits in her armchair at home dreaming of traveling the world, her diverse characters explore for her listening to music, seeing the sights, and eating exotic foods.

43 responses »

  1. My boys are only 2 and 4, so it is a little bittersweet to imagine them as they evolve into teenagers and then adults. I hope that I will be as proud of them as you are of Logan.

  2. Oh…my…goodness, Alica. I have only seen this type of stuff in movies and that’s all fake. Has he ever thought of going in the stunt trade in the movies? I bet it brings in a ton of money! I cannot believe how buffed Logan is and what great shape he’s in. I honestly have never watched a human being do Spiderman stunts like jumping from one wall to another and climbing upward. WOW!
    And that you stood by and watched? Kudos to you for letting him go with his passion.
    Patti

    • It is awesome but that’s not Logan- it could be some day- that guy is Damien Walters and he does do stunt work. I think my son would freak if he ever got to meet him. I stood by a watched a lot- or didn’t watch, and he certainly practices moves like those- the smaller ones for right now, but someday he’ll be jumping off of buildings and I’ll be the cliched alcoholic writer LOL!

  3. Happy birthday to your son. I know the feeling, my daughter turned 17 two weeks ago (and my son is not far behind!). It’s amazing how they can take our breath away with pride and fear all at once, right?

  4. 17 years! Oh my goodness…It’s so hard to think about my boys reaching that age, but I’m sure it feel like it happened overnight. It sounds like you’ve been a fabulous parent, and will continue to be. Kenya? Oh my gosh, I’m choking up a little just thinking about it. That’s so great…and scary!

    The hubster and I also made the decision for me to stay home with the offspring, and we’re homeschooling, too. It’s such hard work, and there are so many sacrifices, but it’s totally worth it. Especially when you see the kind of fruit you’re seeing in your son.

    *hugs*

    • *squishes* Thank you it is totally worth it, and being with them as they grow is worth the sacrifice. Kenya scares me- it’s with a group from school and the teacher does this every year so I now that part is fine, but he’ll be so far away! I’m sure I’ll blog more about it as the time gets closer and I’m freaking out more.

  5. First of all Happy Birthday to him. It is easily felt that you are an incredible parent. It is very difficult for parents to let their children go and find their own freedom. I can relate to this post remembering the good days I have had with my parents. They are the most wonderful people in the world. Enjoyed reading immensely. Thanks.

  6. First Happy Birthday to Logan! You are a fantastic mother but you certainly do not look old enough to have a 17yr old son. This is such an awesome tribute. I know he’s a great guy, how could he not be with you as his mom?

  7. Happy Birthday, Logan!

    It is hard sitting back and letting your kids grow up, isn’t it? My daughter just started dating and I’ve freaked out on more than one occasion (like the night they fell asleep at his parents house and she didn’t wake up to answer her phone).

    Although you know what? I’d rather parent my daughter (and son) than the kid in the video. Gosh, can you imagine being HIS mother? I imagine she’s taking heart and blood pressure meds, along with anti-stress medication! 🙂

    • Thank you. I can’t imagine when they start dating- Logan hasn’t started yet and Tala is only 11 so she’s not allowed until she’s until she’s 30 LOL! Oh feel asleep and didn’t answer the phone I would be hysterical.
      While I want to encourage Logan I’m not looking forward to him jumping off of buildings.

  8. Wowza. Self-examination is intense, isn’t it? I don’t have children but I relate to how you feel. I often step back and look at the way I’ve handled things. Sometimes I’m proud; sometimes I am ashamed. I think you did a great job of raising a good young man. 😀

    • Thank you Catie! Self-examination is always intense. i think the hardest part of being a parent is the constant self-examination, every time your child does something you have to figure out your role both good and bad.

  9. My son just turned twenty, and my daughter is about to turn seventeen. I’m taking advantage of every single opportunity for field trips, volunteering and being part of her life before she graduates in June. I miss the little kid days, but I’ve come to love and admire my kids as adults, too!

  10. happy birthday Logan. Looks like you did a good job, Mom. my son turned 40 in June. how on earth did that happen? but he’s a good man, husband and father. and he’s a good son, too.

    i am blessed.

    louise

  11. I can’t believe I missed this! Happy Birthday to Logan! I remember those light pole climbing days and I was one of the moms going “do you see what Logan is doing?!” and you putting up your hand saying “I’m not looking!” 🙂 I remember when I saw you and Logan in TJ’s a couple of months ago I couldn’t get over mature Logan looked. It wasn’t just that he’d grown into a young man, but that he looked so calm and confident and strong. He was a good kid and I’m sure he’s going to be a wonderful man.

    • Thank you so much- we’ve been through a lot watching Logan at the park. I remember when Hunter, Taran, and Isey decided to climb onto of the play equipment the first time- those were not friendly looks sent my way LOL!

  12. Beautiful post, Alica. Letting your son be who he is absolutely is one of the best things you could’ve done for him. I feel your pain of having to not watch–some of those stunts are crazy! I saw some guys doing that, jumping off the roof of a one-story building to the ground. Crazy but cool. 😀

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