Transitions, Part Two

Yesterday I wrote about D’s return to college, and how different it feels this year compared to last. There are some changes where J is concerned, too.

He has just begun his junior year in high school, which is really hard to believe in itself, so let’s all just pause for a moment to think about that.


At the beginning of June, J got his first real job, working for an internet-based company. The owners of the company, a husband and wife, are members at our temple and gave him a chance for the summer, even though they were initially looking for a college student. J jumped right in (he works in their warehouse) and absolutely loves this job. Other than the owner, J is the only male who currently works there. His co-workers are mostly ladies in their thirties and forties. Being the charming young man he is, he has a great time at work fixing problems that come up (impressing the ladies) and keeping everyone laughing, or so I’ve heard. When summer ended, the owners, who really like the job he’s done so far, were nice enough to tell him that as long as he is able to get his work done, he can continue working there for a couple of hours every day after school, only working late on shipment days. This made J intensely happy, as not only does he love the job but he has a car that he needs to keep insured and gassed up.

J is also “getting more serious” about school. I don’t want to break my personal rule about blogging too many details about my kids’ lives, so I will just say that for the first two years of high school, his priorities weren’t always in the right place. In contrast, he began this year with a fantastic attitude that makes me believe he has turned the corner and is “growing up” in the sense that he is finally getting how important it is to be a hard worker for many reasons, but especially for his future. A by-product of this new-found “go get ’em” attitude is the fact that he has decided not to play lacrosse this year. (*sob!*) His decision, when I think about it only on the level of “no more lacrosse”, is very sad for me personally. I loved watching him play, and I loved the fitness benefit he got out of it. Big picture-wise though, I am proud that he made the decision in consideration of his schoolwork AND being able to keep his beloved job, which he would’ve had to quit in late February in order to play the sport. He says he’ll play next year, but somehow I don’t think so (Senior year, you know?). I told him that if he’d like to play in a Saturday league, we could check into that.

The other big change for us is that as of this past Monday, J is finished with Boy Scouting. He had been losing interest over the past two years and hung on as long as possible, but it was finally time. His scouting experience was very different from D’s (as it should be, I suppose), and his path just wasn’t meant to lead him to stay involved with the troop through age eighteen, Eagle or not. It’s totally his decision and we’re behind him, but it’s truly the end of an era in this house, and a bittersweet one at that. I remember how, pre-children, Jim talked excitedly about how he couldn’t wait to be involved in scouting with our kids. Between the time that D joined Cub Scouts in elementary school and J’s final meeting on Monday, we’ve been a scouting family for twelve years, and now it’s over. The thought of it takes my breath away a little bit.

As J grows older and begins to take on more and more responsibility for the various components of his life, it’s a little mind-blowing. Our younger child coming into his own as a young man was bound to happen, of course, and his “firsts” are no more–or less–exciting than his older brother’s, but it’s all bringing strong winds of change in our direction, signifying much bigger transitions to come.