This year Dalton is a senior. He is 17 years old and a blessing since day one. I think back to those first years we had together. They where so much fun. Dalton was my little side kick. We had almost 3 years before Emery was born so we had lots of time just us. We did everything together. Dalton had some speech trouble so I was his voice. People would always ask me "what did he say". Mommy could always understand though. When I watch videos now of those days I can not understand a word he says. We took bike rides, swam, played games, did puzzles, colored. Dalton was the easiest toddler. He only threw one temper tantrum. We went to a store and I remember watching him as he looked at a child that was on the floor screaming. I could see the wheels turning in his head. Later that night at home, Dalton gave the fit a try. He ended up in trouble and decided it was just not worth it. I figured wow I got this parenting thing down. Well then came the 4 other kids who taught me that most toddlers try the fit thing more then once. They just didn't catch on to that as fast.
As a school age child, he loved to learn. I home schooled him and had so much fun watching as he learned. Reading was the love of his life. I couldn't keep enough books in the house. Junior high was spent in public schools, Dalton was an example and picked as the studio of character and featured on the radio. He was loved by all teachers.
Now his high school days are almost over. I can't stand to think very soon he will be moving on and out of our home. I still feel that he is my side kick. My go to guy. The one who is always there for me when I need a hand. The last year he has had to step up around here. I try to not put to much on him since his dad left, wanting him to still be the child here and not an adult. Some of this is unavoidable though.
He has been accepted to college and is still figuring out his plans for after high school. He works at the local grocery store, helps at awanas, attends a weekly bible study, and is doing great in school. He is an example to his brothers how to handle himself. He is wise beyond his years. It was decided years ago that the boys would not be dating while young. My rule is not tell 18 but at 16 they can petition this if they want to. Meaning, if there is a girl, they can come discuss the situation with me. At that point it is still my decision but we can discuss it. Dalton has handled this so gracefully, at one point after some girl drama, admitted that I was right in making him wait, (yes I asked for that in writing). We made up a contract about dating years ago. I love the example he sets in this for his brothers.
I Love Dalton and am so very proud of this young man. I hope him and I always stay close, that he always talks to me and that he keeps his eyes on the Lord, I hope the things that he has seen in his home with his parents, will not be modeled in his household. I hope he realizes how wrong divorce is and picks a wife very carefully and for life. I hope he learns to forgive his dad. I hope he always knows how much he is loved. I hope the woman he marries realizes how great he is. I hope he gives me a granddaughter. I hope he finds joy in little things and knows how to be content. I hope he realizes the mistakes his parents made do not define him in anyway, that it is not his destiny to repeat our mistakes.