It’s double graduation around here this week – Justin wrapping elementary school and Joshua middle school. We are thrilled for them both, and so proud of the young men they are growing into. But I hate to mash their two milestones together … so I’m taking them one at a time. Josh today, Justin next time.
I don’t know how it snuck up on me, but while we were busy with life Joshua went from a boy entering middle school to a veritable young man. Overnight! Well … seems like overnight anyway. I forgot when he passed me in height – 6 foot tall and definitely still rising (and I won’t even mention his shoe size!)
He’s our first boy to hit teenage years, so its all a first for me – voice getting deeper, shadow of facial hair. Just hard to believe it’s still Josh. That little boy who spent an entire year (literally!) wearing a silver top hat and memorizing all of the instruments in the orchestra at 3 or 4. The one who knew the names of more animals by 5 than I know to this very day. The clown of his Destination Imagination teams – with lines that we will never forget like ‘too much sesame chicken!!’ So many great memories!
But even though he’s older and more mature (most days), one thing that has not change throughout is his love and protectiveness for his little brother. Looking back on it, Joshua was an anchor that helped Justin in so many ways. Whether he was just hanging out with him, going to movies, swimming, or letting Justin fidget with his ears (it was a thing for a while) :-) Josh accommodated it all and was the best buddy and brother we could have ever wished for little Justin as he worked his way through so many aspects of autism.
I love that though he’s older he has not lost his silliness - breaking into happy dances at the most random moments!
And it makes me smile when I realize how comfortable he is in his own skin and with his own diverse interests – with playlists that can range from Stevie Ray Vaughn or Ludo to Punch Brothers.
We chuckled the other night over the silly juxtaposition of two things he loves – archery and ukelele (he said it’s War and Peace) :-)
I have learned more than I ever wanted to know about bows and arrows (compounds, recurves, fletchings, and draw weights) but love that he has found things that he really enjoys. And he has taught me more than a few things about patience, grace, compassion and compromise.
He’s off to high school in the fall and he’s so thrilled to be heading to the Performing Arts Academy at Salem HS. We are very proud of his accomplishments at school, and grateful for the great education he had at Kemps Landing Magnet. But even more happy at the loyal, kind, funny and caring young man that he is growing into.
We love you, Josh!