A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of watching my son, Aiden, play in his last high school volleyball game. It was a fun weekend away in Victoria, cheering him on. Even though it wasn’t the finish his team was hoping for, I thought it was an unbelievable way to finish off his years of playing for ACS.

As I watched my 6’3” son jump and smash, dig and pass, and fight right until the last point, I thought about how we got all the way here from where he began.

Made of Stern Stuff

Our middleman, as we called him, with two brothers ahead and two brothers behind, was always a fighter. Starting out at only 5 lbs, I was afraid to take him home, thinking one wrong move would snap him. But he was made of sterner stuff than that. It only took him six weeks to start putting on the pounds and once he began to grow, there was no stopping him.

He was very independent from the get-go and gave Steve and me the slip countless times.

At age one, he managed to get himself on the big boys’ toy tractor which was pointed straight down the driveway. With his soother firmly in place, no ability to steer, and a perfectly unlucky placed foot on the gas, he drove straight onto busy Keith Wilson Road until providentially his Aunt Jen drove up and whisked him to safety.

Little Voice Singing

Aiden rarely lacked confidence. When he was five, we were camping in Minnesota. We were woken at 1 am by hurried instructions to get below ground as a tornado was headed our way. After huddling in a basement for an hour it was deemed “safe enough” to return. Six of us lay wide awake in our tent trailer, hearing only the wind and the thumping of our own racing hearts, until his little voice sang confidently out of the darkness, “I surrender all, I surrender all. All to thee my precious Saviour, I surrender all.”

Aiden has always been a matter-of-fact kind of guy. The day we dropped our oldest, Caleb, off at Dordt University was rough. The drive home was quiet, punctuated only by the odd sniffle from me when from the back seat, 11-year-old Aiden clearly informed Steve and me, “Just so you know, when I go to college, I’m not gonna cry.”

Aiden is a man of few words, but he finds his tongue when he feels called upon to stand up for what he believes is right. More than once, the teenage Aiden came home from Mr. Naayer’s socials class sharing stories after being inspired by the need for social justice in our world.

First Kindergarten, Now The World

And now my confident, independent, matter of fact, justice-seeking middleman is in grade 12. I can hardly believe how time has flown. Wasn’t I just dropping him off at Nancy Humphrey’s kindergarten class and now he’s getting ready to take on the world?!

Watching him battle his way through the ups and downs of this year’s volleyball provincials, I think he is.

Thanks be to God for his character/talents/gifts and to our family, school friends and teachers, church family who have spoken into his life for years, he is ready. He has the fighting spirit to take on unknowns. He’s independent enough to face new challenges. He has the confidence to step out in faith. And he has the passion for justice to do God’s kingdom work.

It’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day of parenting. Taking a step back to remember where Aiden came from, it’s clear how faithful God has been for the last 17 years. I trust He will continue to be faithful in Aiden’s life in the years ahead.

Aiden promised not to shed a tear come “drop off day.” I’m not sure I’ll be able to hold myself to his high standards, but I will be able to drop him off in confidence that he is ready.