May is here. The spring showers have kept true to their word this year so far, hoping that it continues in moderation to avoid any flooding or drought this summer. The school year is winding down, just a few more weeks until the kids get their freedom for three months. We are hitting some milestones at my house. Our oldest son is preparing to start middle school in the fall. Like most kids, he is going to give band a try which makes me proud as I participated in band in grades sixth through ninth. It’s where I gained knowledge and an appreciation for all music. He tested and decided to pursue the trumpet, which in his words “will get him on Kyle Field” in College Station, possibly as a future member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band.

It’s a bit nostalgic for me, to believe that I will have a son in the sixth grade. I clearly remember my start to middle school. We had just moved from Arlington to this “little” town called Frisco, and I’d left behind a life I’d known since birth. I was in a whole new place with all new people, but we were all in the same boat as several elementary schools fed into this one middle school and this was the first time we were all together. But I joined band, played sports and I made some lifelong friends that are still in my life today.

As my son and I walked through the very large middle school, I couldn’t help but feel a little worried for him and this huge transition. As we passed by the cafeteria, I noticed about a dozen picnic tables outside and I told him that there are some new freedoms that he would experience. I also noticed the lack of a playground, but instead football stands and a track. At that moment it hit me — my 6 pound 13 ounce baby boy was growing up.

Honestly, it’s a wide range of emotions, and as parents we fight ourselves with wanting our kids to grow up and stay little at the same time. My husband and I do our best to not shelter our kids completely. We want them to experience wins and losses. We want them to try new things and experience life. Most importantly, we want to teach them about good work ethic and how to be a productive member of society, no matter what path they take.

My husband and I came from two very different backgrounds. If you ask my sons they’ll gladly tell you “daddy is a country boy and mommy is a city girl.” But I feel like in the 14 years we have been together, we have come up with a great compromise and share some of the same values and beliefs. We are both hardworking and have never expected anything for nothing. Now, more than ever, we want to instill in our children to set goals — big and small — and work hard to achieve them. We’ve watched them enjoy some early success with 4H and sports, but I’m really excited to see how they grow and explore these new stages in their lives.

I never imagined this would be my life, as a child. I always envisioned it a little differently. But I took chances, tried new things, met new people and it led me to here. It has not been an easy journey, there have been bumps along the way, but without those hardships I would not be as grateful as I am for this life. Every experience was a lesson and it helped shape who I am today. I wish the same for my children.

Elizabeth Engelhardt is the publisher for the Seguin Gazette.

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