A High School Graduation, PB&J’s, and Manual Labor

This week, my nephew graduated from high school. I remember when he was born. They called me out of my high school chemistry class for the phone call and my brother told me he had a son (good timing, too, I hated chemistry!)  And this week, that baby boy graduated high school.

My brother, a teacher at the school, gave my nephew his diploma. I cried...it wasn't pretty.

My brother, a teacher at the school, gave my nephew his diploma. I cried…it wasn’t pretty.

How did this happen?  Where did the time go?  So of course, I start thinking about my own boys. My husband recently told me Justus is a different kid these days–he’s just grown up a lot in a month!  And it’s true. All my boys are growing up so fast.  Just look at yesterday…

Yesterday, they decided to make their own PB&J sandwiches for lunch.  This is the first time they’ve wanted to do it all by themselves. “Mommy, I’m going to make mine first, eat it, then I’ll make yours. Would you like that?” Diego asked me.  How sweet, although I never did get my sandwich…


Peanut butter is much stickier to spread than one might think! Ya gotta really put some force into spreading it!


I love that he wouldn’t use his left hand to hold the bread in case he got jelly on it.


You can already see the pride in his face as he puts the sandwich together. He did it…all by himself!


Mmmmm, PB&J has never tasted so good!


Isaac with his many hats worked as hard on his sandwich as he did on his hat placement.  And for your information, that would be a Captain America knit hat,  Mickey Mouse ears on top of that, topped off with a cowboy hat. It’s awesome being 3.


His balance is seriously incredible with the hats precariously teetering off one another.  And I’m also impressed that he see around that huge brim as he spreads the jelly.  He’s a kid of many talents!


Sweet bite of success.  My boys are growing up!  *sniff sniff*  And they amazed me even more this afternoon.  Our neighbors are putting rock in their flower beds.  Long, hard, tiring work.  So my boys chipped in to help.  I’m telling you, I couldn’t believe how hard they worked.


My oldest leading the charge! And to him, this wasn’t work, it was fun!  Oh to be 5 again!


Isaac traded in his tower of hats for…goggles. One must always accessorize apparently.  And protect one’s forehead from dust.


Even my littlest one is in on the action, pushing stray rocks back into the pile. Or at least carrying the broom around looking important. I tell you, this is one proud mama.

I’m proud of them because as they grow up they work hard, they want to do for themselves, and they help out. I mean, look at this little guy helping me empty the dishwasher…


He can barely reach high enough to put the bowl on the counter, but he’s determined to help mommy.  Does it take me twice as long to put away the dishes?  No.  It’s more like 3 or 4 times longer.  But, he’s learning to help.  He’s doing his part. And that’s important.  They each have a job:  Isaac usually puts away the silverware, Diego gets the plates and bowls, Justus gets in the way.

They’re growing up!  I see it in so many ways.  Sure there’s still whining, crying, attempts to negotiate or argue with me, after all, they are little kids.  And yes, I want to tear my hair out or bang my head against a wall sometimes…often.  But, before you know it, they’ll be graduating college and becoming independent, helpful, self-sufficient members of the adult world.  *sniff,sniff*  Pass the kleenex.

Today, my nephew is a high school graduate heading off to college. Today my boys made their own lunches and did some manual labor to help a neighbor.  Today I’m remembering to savor the little moments with my babies.


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