Our little pony-tail boy
grown up to be a man
Now he's gone in the blink of an eye
-From "Suds in The Bucket", with apologies to Billy Montana, Tammy Wagoner and Sara Evans.
Most people have them. An old photo or two of a birthday party when they were twelve or thirteen. When you next look at them, examine the expressions on your parents' faces. Proud. Happy. Weary, perhaps, depending on the nature and length of the birthday festivities. But behind their eyes may lie another look. Born of the knowledge that their child is growing and preparing to go. To High School. Or wherever. Away. Resignation to that natural fact. And sadness.
My son, the Future Rock Star, turned twelve last week. I was younger at twelve than he is. Much younger. My future as a child was still reasonably long at twelve. Unlike his. I think next year he will turn thirty. I am immensely proud of him. Excited at his milestone. Accepting of the natural fact of his ultimate departure from home. But now, I am the one with that look in his eye. And I don't like it one little bit.
As I moped about this, I realized that having the FRS's birthday close upon Memorial Day gave me an Epic gift of appreciation. I felt sorry for myself because my son is growing up and preparing himself to leave me. But on this particular Monday of the American year, we pay our respects to all the sons and daughters that won't be with their families again. We appreciate them and give thanks for their sacrifice, made for us. And we should also appreciate and be so very thankful for all the sons and daughters still with us. Whether or not they still live at home. In this light, the experience of watching your child grow and mature, sad as it may be at times, is a privilege of this highest order. To be cherished and enjoyed. Every moment.
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