For three more days I can say, “Oh I have three teenage sons.” No, I am not adopting out the one who gives me fits. (Depends on the day, which one that is.) It’s far less sinister than that. You see, I just got off the phone with son #1, and I wished him “Happy Birthday” because he turns 20 in three days.
When he was three, and he didn’t know whether he was coming or going–and he was hitting little girls at preschool, or destroying private property, or refusing to say hello to his relatives–I often said, “Please God– just show me a little movie clip of him when he is 18, and at 28, and and again at 38. I really, really need to know I am not raising an axe murderer. Just tell me it will be all right.”
Of course he is all right. He is more than all right. He is a solid citizen; responsible, mature, with a very developed moral compass. I can’t even really remember what he did at age three that so worried me (the above is a compilation of vague frets and concerns–so vivid at the time–so transient even then). And now that I’ve “seen” the movie clip of age 18, I haven’t the slightest desire to see the 28 or 38-year-old versions. Those days will come soon enough. I just want him right here, right now, at age nineteen. For three blissful more days.