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his first solo ride

On the first day of kindergarten there were always those moms who just couldn’t quite leave their baby behind. They would linger next to their child’s desk helping them get everything ready that they might need for the day. Most of the parents would be gone and I would gently walk over to the one or two hovering moms that were left and gently assure them that their child would be just fine without them. They would reluctantly head for the door with tears in their eyes as they watched their baby venture out “on their own”. Of course, I thought that I understood what an emotional day the first day of kindergarten must be for a parent, but after being in the teacher’s shoes, I promised myself that I would never be one of “those parents”. 
Let’s just hope that the emotions I felt on the day I dropped Levi off for his first solo ride in the tractor were just a result of crazy pregnancy hormones and not a pattern for the rest of my life as a parent. Otherwise, I may be needing someone to drag me out of the classroom on Levi’s first day of kindergarten. I just might end up being one of “those parents”.

The day Levi and I brought Joel a lunch, he asked if I wanted to try to leave Levi by himself to ride in the tractor. He only had about an hour of work left and he was pretty close to our house if I needed to run back and pick him up. So we decided to give it a shot not knowing how Levi would do. He has only ridden in my lap so far.

 We buckled him in next to his daddy…he wasn’t sure what to think at first.

 And then he realized that he was getting to stay ALL BY HIMSELF. So exciting.

He blew me a kiss and that is when I had to leave my baby behind. I know it is ridiculous, but I felt like it was his first day of kindergarten. He is not supposed to be big enough to ride in a tractor by himself!

As I was climbing down the ladder I peeked back to see these two smiling at each other. Talk about melting a mama’s heart. I was pretty sure Levi wasn’t going to miss his mama one bit.

I drove home and wondered if he would make it on his own or if Joel would be calling me in a few minutes. About an hour later Joel drove the tractor right up to our front door to drop Levi off. He of course had done great and loved every minute of his ride. And I was so glad to have my baby home.

Levi was one happy little boy. If it wouldn’t have been nap time, I’m pretty sure he could have ridden all day. He sure loves his daddy.

He had Cheetos and chocolate all over his face. Joel said he was falling asleep in the tractor and he had to feed him to keep him awake. So we headed inside, cleaned him up, and off to bed he went.

So, I made it through Levi’s first solo ride in one piece…trying to ignore the fact that my baby boy is turning into such a big boy. A bit over dramatic…I know. Like I said, let’s just pray that I can blame the crazy emotions on the pregnancy hormones!

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  • Anonymous - Jess,
    I can’t believe how much he has changed this summer already! He looks so much older (I know you don’t really want to hear that) He’s so precious.
    Janet DreherReplyCancel

  • The Gunter Family - That picture of the two of them in the tractor looking at eachother brought tears to MY eyes!! 🙂 How sweet and so great that you captured that!!
    Motherhood has definitely turned me into a sap…I cry at everything now! 🙂 I know I will for sure be one of “those parents”! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Love this story…the picture of the “guys” talking things over through the windshield is great.

    He is one lucky little kiddo! And taking these little steps will get you {and Levi} ready for kindergarten one day!!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley McWhorter - Priceless pictures! I love them!! And, the two of them smiling at each other…oh my goodness!! Love!! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • songskatesang - Your crazy pregnancy hormones are precious! Love it!ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - This brought tears to my eyes! Not sure why?!! Last time I checked, I wasn’t pregnant! 🙂 I think it’s the way you captured a father/son relationship and how that is missing in today’s culture! How many little boys are growing up with out their daddy! Breaks my heart! The pictures you capture are awesome! I loved the one of you packing your husband’s lunch and your little belly! So cute! Love your blog! JanelleReplyCancel

  • Jenae - Oh, I’m totally going to be one of “those” parents I told myself I would never be!!

    ADORABLE pictures!ReplyCancel

  • waiting - So sweet. My son went to a very small little Christian school for Kindergarten. His first experience at “big” school was when he entered first grade. I was about 6 weeks pregnant. I was an emotional WRECK!!! I had to go out into the hallway while my husband stayed in the classroom so that he didn’t see me cry! What a wreck! Those pictures are so precious! You MUST frame the one of them smiling at each other:)ReplyCancel

  • Selena - Oh, the memories they will make riding the tractors together… and one day Joel will be teaching him how to drive. I grew up on a farm also and learned to drive everything but the grain truck. So exciting.

    And if it makes you feel any better, my Lawson is 3 and has been taking swim lessons. I cried the first day he was in the water… he was fearless and seemed so grown up (and I’m not pregnant!). 🙂

    I know, just as I’m sure you do, that many “firsts” will come and as mothers we will continue to teach them and mold them as they begin to experience life.

    Levi is a lucky little boy… thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - I was a teacher too and I promised myself I would never been one of “those parents!” Now my oldest is going to kindergarten in the fall and I can’t even think about it without tearing up and I’m not even pregnant!!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Dawn - I know what you mean. I teach, and I have never wanted to be one of “those” moms…but I experienced similar emotions when I was recently expected to just drop my 2 year-old off at VBS and just leave. Are you kidding me?! She’s 2! How am I supposed to just leave her at the church and… Go… Go do what for two hours?! The only time I ever leave her is to go to work. Hmmm…I am afraid I am becoming one of “those” parents. 🙂

    Levi is getting so big. PRECIOUS!

    I hope your pregnancy is going well!ReplyCancel

  • The Veers - so, so sweet!!! i will definitely be one of “those” mothers!ReplyCancel

  • The Moffats - I love these pictures, Jess. They are sooooo precious. You capture all these little milestones so perfectly. You inspire me to do the same…and then…well…I don’t do it. sigh. Crazy pregnancy hormones or not the whole thing is just too sweet. Love and hugs.ReplyCancel

  • Tara - gosh, levi is just SO cute. haden LOVES to go the fire station with dustin to wash trucks. like LOVES it! but the first time that he went i was sure that i was gonna get a call to come get him. never did though. totally made this mommy sad.ReplyCancel

  • Paige - This melted my heart. Being a farm wife as well, I can’t wait for Neelly (2 months) to go on rides with her dad in the tractor, sprayer, combine. There are many more rides to come for Levi!! Hope your pregnancy is continuing to go well!ReplyCancel

  • Scribe - He is so blond! I miss my little boys… they grow up so fast… my oldest, newly 13, is sprouting new underarm hairs every day… and my Middling, Jonah, is 10 and no longer adores Buzz Lightyear & Thomas the Tank…ReplyCancel

  • Stef - oh my… I love these pictures! He is getting so big; turning into a big brother for sure. Wow.
    Awesome post, Jess. Love what you said.ReplyCancel

  • Tricia - Levi is just too adorable. Such a sweetie. The photo of he and his Daddy looking at each other on the tractor with those sweet smiles – that needs to be framed. You take the most amazing photos. I see yours and want a new camera. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - Such a PRECIOUS memory for you! They are two adorable tractor guys – it will be so much fun for he & his Dad to do stuff like that together. I melt as my two hunt together (and always pray for safety for them!!).ReplyCancel

  • Heather - I teared up looking at the picture of the two of them smiling at each other and I’m not even his mom & I’m not pregnant. How do our babies grow up so fast?ReplyCancel

  • flower power momma - Such a blessing is the father/son relationship. Your hubby is wise to foster it at this age.
    I know it was hard on your heartstrings, it would be for most of us…but you’re doing great.

    Those pics are adorable and very tender. I love how Levi’s legs are crossed.ReplyCancel

  • Mary - Well Jess,
    If it’s your pregnancy hormones, it must be mine too. This post got me all teared up. That kiss was just too much! My little boy does that too and it just melts my heart. It is so hard to let them go even if it is just for an hour with Daddy. What a special time for the two of them though. A daddy and his little boy really melts my heart too so this post just turned me into mush. Thank you for sharing such precious photos. God bless you and your beautiful family.
    Love,
    MaryReplyCancel

  • Wanting What I Have - This was a precious treat to read!ReplyCancel

  • Jenny S - I was fine the day I dropped my son off to kindergarten, but about a week later he was walking up the steps to the school and I lost it! I am crying right now thinking of it and he is 7 now! LOL! I have a great picture of him without his two front teeth on my site right now (Saturday’s post)if you have a sec!ReplyCancel

  • sthanlon - That picture of the two of them smiling and talking inside the tractor is about the cutest picture I have ever seen. It brought tears to my eyes! LOVE IT!ReplyCancel

  • Paula Aspacher - if there are photo contest in the farm journal or some other farm publications,,, you need to send in the picture of the two of them in the cab! it needs to be published with a story or in a contest… priceless!ReplyCancel

  • Bethany - This post is super sweet. I love the pictures of them…as always. There is something really special about Daddy/son relationships.

    I thought you might like/hate this quote. My favorite parenting book is “The Mom You’re Meant to Be – Loving Your Kids While Leaning on God” This quote from Walter Wangerin is in the chapter on letting go. “It doesn’t matter how much she has invested in raising him. By stages, now, she labors to let him go. By degrees she loosens the reins, knowing full well the danger to which she sends her child, yet fearing the greater danger of clinging to him forever. And now her hurt is the hurt he will encounter on his own. (Will he survive in a careless existence and thrive?) And beside that, her hurt is loneliness. To be, he must first be gone.
    This is childbearing at its most laborious.”ReplyCancel

  • Jody - So sweet! I pray my future husband is as great a father as Joel.ReplyCancel

  • AlishaB - Awww!!!!!! That is so precious!! It even brought tears to MY eyes, so I don’t blame you at all! I’m sure I will be one of ‘those parents’ even though I always thought they were ridiculous!!ReplyCancel

  • Mrs. Southern - He is adorable and the emotions between a father and son that you captured in those photos are amazing! I’m one of those parents and I’m just going to have to admit it and prepare for many years to come.ReplyCancel

  • Amber - Every time I read your sweet posts about life with Levi, I think how awesome it is that you regularly document every day life and your pictures are always so awesome. I so hope that I can do a good job of documenting every day life with our little-one-on-the-way too!ReplyCancel

  • Melanie Martini - So adorable! I had tears in my eyes as I read your post. 🙂 You are awesome parents!ReplyCancel

  • Jen - Oh, so very, very precious!!! I’m so glad you captured this on film. Wonderful! : )ReplyCancel

  • meg duerksen - did he make it home awake today??
    🙂
    man i remember that….yelling and singing to keep them awake. ha ha ha

    those pictures are adorable.ReplyCancel

  • Amy H - Amazing that you captured the beautiful picture of your boys looking at each other. That’s gorgeous.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer @ Studio JRU - So adorable! Precious photos. Brings back wonderful memories of riding in the tractor with my dad. I always thought it was so much fun! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - oh, I LOVE these pictures! I teared up just reading and seeing these precious moments! And to think that there will eventuall be two boys heading out with dad!ReplyCancel

  • Allen and Debby Graber - Yup. Eating keeps that litle boy happy!!ReplyCancel

  • franknbellesmom - I am teary, and nowhere NEAR pregnant! Such a cute milestone – and he is just such a dollbaby! Can’t wait to see little brother – he has such cute sibs!ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - That picture of the two of them in the Tractor is PRICELESS!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Charon Benton - so sweet…my boys LOVE that buddy seat in the tractor! Their daddy always took them for rides too! Isn’t it wonderful?ReplyCancel

  • Stacy - I love this. TOO cuteReplyCancel

  • Melinda - I have tears in my eyes! Such sweet photos. Thank you for sharing with us.ReplyCancel

  • Barb - The picture of your husband and Levi looking at each other touches my heart. There is so much love and emotion in that picture…a father-son relationship is such an important one and you captured it precisely in that picture. I also love the one of Levi looking at the tractor…they are all precious. What a blessing to have his daddy so close by each day of his life. You have a beautiful family!ReplyCancel

  • HD - maybe a tid bit pregnancy hormones, but mostly just mommy hormones. we all change with the birth of these special little angels, don’t we? 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Priceless pictures! Some of the best naps are taken in tractors though.

    http://www.thisfarmfamilyslife.blogspot.comReplyCancel

  • TimandCeri - I LOVE it! He is growing up SO fast! I know how you feel as my baby is 3.5 and if feels like we just brought him home some days. I am glad he has an October birthday so we can put off that Kindergarten moment for 2 more years! I LOVE LOVE the one of them in the tractor together, and when he realises he is going by himself. Good luck keeping him out of it now! I think that one is your next fathers day Tiny Prints card!!! <3ReplyCancel

  • A - you get the BEST pictures!!! your boys are SO cute!!ReplyCancel

  • Christina - That picture with Levi looking at the tractor [with his back towards camera]…needs to be FRAMED! Just sayin. heheReplyCancel

  • Jana - My baby is 20 and used to be so excited to ride in the tractor with his Grandpa. Now he is all grown up and driving the tractor! His love of farming continued to grow as he got older and I think Levi will be the same way. I can see Levi sitting next to his Dad for many years to come now that he has gotten to do it once he isn’t going to want to stop! You have such a wonderful family! I love watching Levi grow and seeing the great connection he has with his dad! It is precious beyond words!ReplyCancel

  • seaschell - I’m a kindergarten teacher and swore I’d never be one of “those” parents… but now that I’m expecting my first baby and thinking about all those firsts that are coming down the road… I think I’m in trouble. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Baby Kate's Mom - Oh your boys are just adorable! What a big boy Levi is 🙂 I cried when I dropped my munchkins at daycare the first day, maybe that means I won’t cry at the kindergarten drop off???

    Always praying for you in FL!

    Krista
    aka babykatesmomReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Those pictures are so cute!! Way to capture the moment!
    CarleyReplyCancel

  • The Mershawn's - It is so hard…letting go. Even in the small things.
    I used to teach kindergarten too.
    I’ll be “one of those moms” for sure.
    Pregnant or not…
    Glad he loved it though:)! He’s such a cutie!!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Joy - I’ve got crazy hormones too… so maybe that’s why… but *I* teared up reading this and seeing those pics! Especially the one of your boys smiling at each other. Love it!ReplyCancel

  • Karina - Awwww…I don’t think it is just the pregnancy hormones. It is a good thing there is a little baby on the way…because Levi isn’t going to be a baby for much longer! What a happy, gorgeous, adoring little pal for Joel – that look between them is just precious!!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole - That might be the sweetest post I have ever read! Having a daddy who OWNS and DRIVES a tractor RIGHT TO YOUR DOOR!!! That is a boy’s dream come true. Levi’s friends are going to be sooo jealous as he gets older (heck, I’m a little jealous myself with two boys of my own). Thanks for sharing your life with us! I check in on you daily and am so thankful for you! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Maria - I can’t believe that his daddy dropped him off and left without him and there’s not one tear!!!ReplyCancel

  • Jan - This is the cutest story ever – and you got great photos!ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - I’ve taught Kindergarten for 20 years….this year I’m sending my “baby” to Kindergarten. I know that he’ll just be next door to me, but I will definitely be “one of those Moms” who shed a few tears and it’s ok because I know there are many children in my class that have Moms who “can’t wait to send them to school”.
    Mrs. B.ReplyCancel

  • AshleyAnn - I’m one of those parents. Sometime I should tell you the conversation I had with my son’s kindergarten teacher when she called over the summer to introduce herself….I was a wreck;)ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - precious!ReplyCancel

  • mama b - just had to pop in and say that tomorrow we’re having a “1 year in a flash” party for my boy, and i have YOU to thank for inspiration for the simplest, most creative party i could imagine! i know you got your idea from another blogger, but i just LOVED the style of levi’s. i’ll post pics soon and i’ll make sure to link up to you. 🙂 thank you!!ReplyCancel

  • mama b - just had to pop in and say that tomorrow we’re having a “1 year in a flash” party for my boy, and i have YOU to thank for inspiration for the simplest, most creative party i could imagine! i know you got your idea from another blogger, but i just LOVED the style of levi’s. i’ll post pics soon and i’ll make sure to link up to you. 🙂 thank you!!ReplyCancel

  • Kahla - He is just precious!ReplyCancel

  • Katie - I have a kindergartener and didn’t cry! But I did cry a bit when my husband took him to the Lowes Builder Workshop when he was 3. He wore goggles and got a work apron for tools. I had my husband bring a camera. Melt my heart!!!!! I am there with you!ReplyCancel

  • Aimee - Awe, looks like he had a blast. I love looking at all of your pics of him with the tractors and such. Too cute.ReplyCancel

  • Katie Freel Smith - What a sweet, sweet post! The pic where your boys are smiling at each other is extremely heart warming!

    Blessings Jess! – Katie 😉ReplyCancel

  • Brooke - That picture of them looking at each other is priceless……thanks for sharing your journey.ReplyCancel

  • Krystal - How strange that I am a total stranger and that photo of Levi looking at his daddy smiling made me almost cry? Seriously! And I am NOT pregannt!

    Off subject…we just got back from vacation. We drove from seeing Mr. RUshmore thru Nebraska and Kansas home to Texas. We passed one of those tractors on the highway and our little boy, who just turned 4, said, “Dad, that is definetly NOT a car!” We laughed! He was soooo serious!

    Happy Summer! How much longer until baby #3 is here?ReplyCancel

  • Eryn - That picture melted my heart and put tears in my eyes! Talk about the sweetest thing ever! You have a terrific family and an adorable little boy. 🙂ReplyCancel