Passing the Baton

  "For the joy of the Lord is my strength" comes from Nehemiah 8:10 and

"He gives power to the tired and worn out and strength to the weak" is from Isaiah 4:29.

It was just a part of our family life: the moment when everything was cleaned up after a meal, and we were hanging around, trying decide how to spend our evening.  The next thing you knew, there was a pile of boys in the middle of the living room rug, because one of them offered up a challenge and they were on!  Before I could say, "Be careful no one gets hurt!" there were arms flailing, sweat flying, hands groping, tee-shirts ripping, grunts and groans sounding and flesh slapping against flesh.  Aah, the joys of an eighty-percent male household!  We had ourselves an honest-to-goodness WWE wrestling match right here in Hamburg.

Of course, when they started getting really big, I was the typical wet blanket, the paranoid mom who was sure that it would get out of hand and we would inevitably end up in the emergency room with missing teeth, a broken elbow, or a ruptured spleen!  Wes would always dismiss any of my concerns, assuring me that "boys will be boys" and it was just as natural as fish swimming or pigs wallowing in mud.  Give two or three boys an open space on a plush rug, and there's physical prowess to be proved.

It was interesting because whenever the challenge was put out on the table, Wes eventually got involved as well~ either stepping in to help the underdog (usually Ben, who was the youngest and until these last three years the smallest) or defending his own title as the biggest and toughest Van De Water boy in the house!

That was until Scott came home from his senior year at the United States Air Force Academy...it came down to a challenge to his dad and before long, Wes knew that he was bested.

And so it goes...the baton gets passed on to the next generation and a Dad looks on with pride as his sons mature and become young men of strength, stature and character.