In the Philippines the oldest brother is the Cuya. The other siblings look to him for approval, guidance, protection, and provision. If a woman is widowed the Cuya becomes the head of the family. When the parents are gone...the Cuya is the Patriarch.
I didn't set out to raise a Cuya. God has blessed us with one. We DID set up to raise a young man who would love God wholeheartedly. Mike and I did spend hours mentoring Josiah (as he does with our other sons). The other children from Stacia (3) to BreAnne (23) all look to Josiah as a leader. He's gentle with that position. He's truly a servant leader.
I've seen him step into that Alpha Male role when Mike is deployed. He's done well.
I'm humbled when I think back seven years. My WORD! Josiah was my first man-child. I had NEVER encountered the phases we encountered as he matured. He was aggressive, assertive, and we all of a sudden clashed. Then I realized....he was a young man. Men need to be driven, assertive, aggressive ...and I needed to teach change my parenting. He was not a baby boy any longer.....and so we both grew through those years. He learned to submit to authority. I learned to respect the leadership that was developing in his life. I quit trying to make him "act like the girls did" when they were this age. ::snort::
Josiah blesses me. It's been a joy to watch him navigate his young adult years. He's held a job, was promoted to manager at 17, saved and paid for college, bought his own car - cash, saved up enough for his remaining years of college, moved out and has done well on his own, he's respected by those who work with him at work...he's fun to be with. He's great with the younger ones. He's thoughtful and helpful. He's giving. He's hard-working. He's thrifty.
He's no longer a "young man" in my mind. This MAN is my baby boy....and I'm proud of the man of God he has become. Happy Birthday, Josiah. We love you.
Top of a mountain looking over Anchorage - what a climb! Josiah 14/ Zander 1 1/2
Hope, Alaska - 2004
Seward, AK - 2004
::snort:: Elmendorf AFB Chapel
August 16, 2005 - Arielle, Stacia and Josiah - it was love at first sight for both Josiah and Stacia. Though he looks a bit nervous in this photo! LOL
2007 - Showing Zander a good time
May 2007 - We flew the girls in to surprise Josiah the night before his graduation.
Follow your dreams, Josiah. You make me so proud to be your Mom.
Leaving this boy in TX is going to be hardest thing I've had to do in parenting to date.