Last night he asked us during a commercial break on his favorite
show, “Do you want me to read my paper one more time?”
“Yes!” Surprised, my wife and I both shouted in unison.
He stood in the middle of our small living room and read the five minute long report. Listening from my spot on the couch, a surreal blanket covered me from head to toe. I looked through those warm, invisible threads at my wife watching him. She wore the same proud and flabbergasted smile on her face spreading across mine. I realized she was the only other person in the entire world who felt the same sense of disbelief and gratification in this not so small human being that we created together. Who was this little man? When did he grow up? Didn’t I carry him around in one hand not two seconds ago?
We’re quickly nearing the onset of the teenage years of terror. As a horror writer, you’d think I would be prepared. But demonic squirrels and vengeful ghosts have nothing on the nightmares I have of what’s to come over the next few years. Right now, he’s still my buddy. I’m still his best friend. Hopefully the nightmares will stay just that: Bad dreams.
While I know I’m not ready for my boys to grow up, I’m working hard to find a way to let them go and become their own individual people whether I want to or not. The more closely I try to hold on, the harder they’ll pull away from me. I remember being a teenager and how I felt when I struggled for freedom from my parents. Much as I’d love to hover tightly and be a shield from the slings and arrows life will undoubtedly throw in their path, I have to sit back and wait for them to ask for my help.
Being a parent is the toughest, greatest thing I have or ever will have the honor of doing in my life. Besides, they say it gets easier after the first eighty or ninety years.