I would call this summer "The summer of becoming a man" for our youngest son, Hayden. He has accomplished many milestones this summer and we are so proud of him and happy for him! The first thing he did was get some extra yard jobs. Actually, for some time now he's been applying for a "real" job, but has not gotten one, so he started trying to get more yard jobs. He already was mowing the neighbor's grass across the street, but he found a couple more yard jobs and he started making good money, which he put into savings. Because he is now 16 and has a little money in the bank he decided it was time to get his own debit card! I took him to the bank and where he had to fill out a bunch of forms to apply for it. He was approved, but had to wait to get the card.
A few days it came in the mail! He was so excited! This is a major step in his independence!
The next step was to get his license. He has had his permit for a year now and he's ready to go for his license. In Oregon there is a law that each kid needs to get 100 documented driving hours with their parents before they can get their permit and this takes about a year. I am very thankful for this law because I know it has saved lives of many teens and I know it has helped our kids to be very good drivers because they have a lot of hours of experience! Also in Oregon, you need to take the written portion of the driver's exam first and then you schedule an appointment to come back and do the driving portion. Here's Hayden in line to take the written portion, which he passed with flying colors!
Two weeks later we went back for the driving portion. I was so nervous for him! I waited in the lobby and I quickly snapped this picture of him out there waiting by the car. Notice the orange construction cone sitting to the right of our car, this comes into major play during his driving test.
You can see the DMV lady walking out there to take him on the test. Unfortunately he did not pass the test. She said he did really well throughout the whole test, but right at the very beginning as he was backing out of this spot, he hit the construction cone. She said this represents a "vehicle" and because he hit the cone, it was considered a collision and was an automatic fail. :0( Unfortunately, he had to wait another 30 days before he could take the test again. It was sad, but it was a great learning lesson.
In the meantime though, he got his first real job!!!! He's a gas pumper at the local 76 gas station! We were all so excited when he got this job! You see, right when he was old enough to start applying for jobs was when the economy took a nose dive. He has been taking down an application to this gas station just about EVERY SINGLE WEEK for over a year! He actually was applying at jobs all over town, but this is the job he really wanted.
He wanted his application to stand out, so we took a picture of him next to this old gas pump that's on my sister's farm and.....
......he wrote on it "Can't you picture me pumping gas for you?.....I can!" and he attached it to an application and he took it down to the gas station. It was shortly after this that he got the call for the interview and job offer!
We were all so happy and thankful to God when the boss finally called him!!! I did a "drive by shooting" hee hee, that is "photo shooting" of him at work on his first day. I didn't want to bother him or get him in trouble. He caught on really well and really enjoys it! This is neat because two of his older brothers worked there too, Cameron and Grayson.
After his first day on the job he rode his bike over to the clinic where I work and told me about his day. He was just beaming!
He was really excited because he got $3.00 in tips! Here he is showing me the money. I'm so happy for him! You can just see the confidence in his smile that having a job and working has given him!
It's very important to my husband and I that all of our boys are hard workers and learn to become men and are independent. We have always had our kids do chores around the house, but they also had to get part-time jobs when they turned 15 or 16. Both Eric and I had jobs at that age and we feel it teaches them so much about responsibility and being a good worker. You do not do your kids any favors by spoiling them and over protecting them. Working hard gives them a sense of self worth and confidence, and makes boys feel like men.
We gave them many speeches on how to be an eager, good, fast, competent worker and they must listen to the boss and do what he says. Getting fired is not an option! I was so proud of all of my boys when they all proved they were good workers and stayed in their jobs for more than a year and were very well-liked by their bosses and have never been fired.
You can see by the look on Hayden's face and the spring in his step that he now has a deeper confidence and he's proud of himself. He's on track and he's doing great!
The next piece of the puzzle is to pass that driving test! We went back to the DMV thirty days later and he passed this time!!! Yea for Hayden! Here he is getting his picture taken for his license!
He was so happy! Good job Hayden!
Afterwards we went out to lunch to celebrate!
He's my fourth child to get his license! I am a little emotional, but so very happy for him and so very proud of him! I am so proud that our "baby" is being so responsible and doing the things he needs to be doing at the right age. He's right on track and proving to the world that he's becoming a man and he's contributing to society! Sometimes you hear stories that the baby of the family is spoiled and irresponsible and we did not want this to happen in our home. Eric and I have been very aware of this and we did not want it to happen to our son, we love him too much to not let him turn out to be a nice, responsible, hard working adult! Sometimes the mama bird has to gently nudge the baby bird to the edge of the nest so they can take that first leap of faith and fly!
Here he is calling Dad and telling him the good news!
On the way home he wanted to stop at the bank again to get his own checking account. Now that he has an official job with money coming in, this is a must.
Okay, the last piece of the puzzle is to get his own vehicle to drive! He had been saving his money from his yard jobs and cashed in his Savings Bonds from his Grandma Alice and Grandpa Jim and he bought his older brother Grayson's old Toyota pickup truck!
Next up was lessons on how to drive a stick shift. He's a great driver, but my car is automatic and that's all he knows how to drive. All of his brothers were so great to give him lessons.
Here's Mackenzie taking him out for one more lesson. Mackenzie said Hayden is doing awesome and he feels he's ready to go solo!
So, since the beginning of summer he's gotten a job, got a checking account and debit card, passed his written and driving portion of his drivers tests and got his drivers license and purchased a truck. He has made major steps toward being totally independent and becoming a man!
Wow Hayden! Way to go! We are so proud of you! This really has been an exciting summer for him!
"The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied." Proverbs 13:4
Signed, a Very Proud Mama, Sharon