Before I was married I worked with Jr. High age students in our church's youth ministry program. In fact, I was pretty sure that was where I was called to work and have a master's degree in religious education with an emphasis in youth ministry. But then I met J., who was working with the Sr. High youth group, and my plans changed significantly. All that to say, I had a chance to visit with one of my former Jr. High students today. She has just had her second baby, and was in need of a sitter for the morning. B., being the baby-whisperer that he is, offered to step in. (That boy likes nothing more than holding a baby.) I went to pick him up so I could stop in and say hi and to admire the baby (who is very, very cute). Seeing a former Jr. High student's child (and this has happened more than just today) always makes me feel a bit old...how can someone I knew when they were 12 and 13 be old enough to have children? But it is also so wonderful to see what great adults and parents they have become. I don't kid myself that the two hours a week that I saw them had much to do with the adults they are now, but I did care for them and am pleased to see how well they are doing...both spiritually and otherwise. It is wonderful to reconnect with these former students as contemporaries and brothers and sisters in Christ, but I can't help but notice that they don't sport quite the amount of grey hair that seems to be sprouting out of the top of my head.
(Hi to A [the new mom] and to E [her sister, who I also had in Jr. High and is now a mother to four beautiful children]...they are regular readers of this blog.)