By Don Lindsey
In August of last year, I wrote a column saying goodbye to a great summer break that my family and I had experienced. With my kids having their last day on Wednesday, I find myself looking forward to what this year has to offer. While we have no set plans outside of visiting my mother in law in Fort Pierce, I am looking forward to what I enjoyed most about last year.
Spending time with my family and watching my kids grow up.
I didn’t realize last summer just what I was watching until I sat back when they went back to school and thought about all the things we did as a family and how spending that time with the children showed me just how much they had grown. This school year has seen them become even more and not only from a physical standpoint even though our middle son is just as tall as I am now and will be shooting past that soon I am guessing, but they have grown emotionally as well. The latter has helped them break out of their shell in my opinion, and I’m starting to see more of their personalities emerge.
For my daughter Emma, that means that she stepped out of her comfort zone this school year and started to do things that she may have been hesitant to do before such as performing in her school’s talent show. I, unfortunately, couldn’t see that, but when I picked her up from school that day, a couple of the teachers were gushing about how beautiful she was singing. The night before, she was so nervous, and I sat with her for a while reassuring her that she’d be fine and would do an excellent job. I had no idea how right I would be, and I was so proud of her just seeing how happy and confident she was from that performance. For her, she has a full summer planned. Camp in a couple of weeks, hanging out with friends and partaking in whatever we do as a family should keep her busy and I cannot wait to see how far she’s come once the summer is over.
My middle son Kyle has plans as well, and it’s been great seeing how far he’s come this year. His grades were a concern early, but he stepped it up big time and finished the year very well. I’ve already mentioned how tall he is getting, but he’s also growing in maturity. For him, this summer is full of possibilities. He’s not into camp anymore but at 15 years old is starting to catch the working bug and is looking to earn some money of his own so that he can buy some of the things he wants. I am also seeing him take more of an interest in what’s going on around the world as he and I have had intense discussions about the current political and social climates in this country alone right now. These are fascinating conversations for me because he is the one going to school every day with the fear and knowledge of all the mass school shootings we’ve seen. As a parent, I worry, but I think that I got so caught up in my fear that I underestimated how scary it must be knowing that these types of tragedies happen everywhere. I’ve watched this kid grow up so much in the last six years and to see him continue to be the inquisitive, good-hearted soul that he is while starting to embrace the idea of hard work outside of the home environment is a beautiful thing to see.
Last but never least is our oldest son Jesse. This guy has always amazed me as I’ve mentioned in past columns by overcoming autism and excelling in everything that he puts his mind to. It’s hard to believe that the little guy I met when he was ten will be a junior heading into next school year. I’ve been impressed and proud of how he has stepped out of his comfort zone like his sister and is doing things that I never dreamed he would. He took musical theater this year and enjoyed going to the plays and helping. As I see him continue to grow, my pride for who he’s turning into is growing with him. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for this kind-hearted, and talented young man.
The main thing I am going to focus on this summer break is not missing the moments when they happen and only thinking about them after the summer is over. I want to catch them as they happen and enjoy every moment I have with my kids because after all, childhood is a lot like summer, here one day and then gone before you know it. Happy Memorial Day weekend and God bless.
Don Lindsey is a follower of Christ, son, husband, father, and a survivor. Originally from Dayton Ohio, and resident of Apopka for six years, Don sees his life as a dedication to his wife, parents, children, and community.