I think 2010 is going to be an interesting year for my eldest son Andrew ... and in relation to my son for me too.
He turned 17 in mid December 2009 and a couple of weeks ago passed his NZ restricted driver's license. This means he can legally drive (but no passengers) between 5 AM to 10 PM. However he is allowed him to take passengers as long as he is with a full license holder (with 2 years experience) with him, or if it he is driving a family member.
On Saturday after an afternoon of "washing" our house (cleaning the dirt and grime on the outside walls) he took his brother out for ice cream (without any of us in the car). On Sunday, I got a lift from a friend for a meeting and after the meeting I called my son to come and pick me up! Rather strange role reversal but nice :-) Then yesterday, being both Jennifer and my day off, we even allowed him to take Jennifer's car to work. And even as I type this post, he has taken my car to run some errands related to his student loan.
Which relates to another major change. Andrew got accepted into Auckland university and is applying for his government student loan. While I still have to sign the forms as he is under 18, I am making him do all the paper work and "leg work", and he is doing a good job. He is growing up fast.
Being a NZ resident is a real blessing as he qualifies for an interest free loan that will take care of his university fees. This takes is a big burden off my shoulders. He only needs to repay his loan once he starts work, and even then the government is kind with policies that require minimal weekly re-payments that are very manageable. If he can balance his studies and manage a couple of days of part time work, he will be very comfortable, since he has free board and lodging at them LONG motel :-)
Balancing university life, a part time job, his church ministries, (namely being a Youth Ministry leader, a regular in the church music / worship team and a key person running the church AV ministry) and his social life is going to be an interesting challenge. His initial response to this challenge has been positive and pragmatic ..."Spend a lot less time on the PS3!" A very good answer in my opinion :-)
Anyway I am a proud dad and very thankful to God!!