My son is nearly a man. He towers over me. The deepness of his voice is sometimes shocking. His size 13 shoes are too big for his dad. He’s made difficult choices this year and has done so with maturity and wisdom beyond his years. He is kind, courteous, generous, loving, and appreciative. The young man he is becoming makes me proud.
He and I are alike in many ways. We’re both a bit quick tempered but also quick to forgive. We’re both pretty good at talking through our feelings, letting others know why we were upset, and acknowledging our own mistakes if we handled the upset poorly. We both feel the criticism and judgement of others deeply. We are both inquisitive to a fault.
He has also learned, at only 15, to unapologetically loves the things he loves. From Legos to Star Wars and superheroes to video gamesm he embraces the label of geek and wears it proudly.
He’s not afraid to be openly affectionate. Whether he’s hugging me goodbye in front of his friends, slinging his arm around his dad for a picture, or meeting a childhood favorite he just allows himself to be in that moment.
He’ll tell you up front that he has some social awkwardness but he’s okay with that and doesn’t let it hold him back from having fun.
He’s still messy and needs reminders about cleaning his room, showers, brushing teeth, etc. But he’s self sufficient in other ways. He’s developed an interest in cooking and sometimes makes delicious meals for the entire family. He feeds himself all the time. 😉
Right now he says he wants to design video games for a living. He’s working on a game now that he hopes to finish by the end of the year and make available for download. This is his first step in building a portfolio. He also thinks a marketing degree would be valuable if he wants to sell his games himself. He isn’t afraid to dream but knows he needs a plan to make those dreams come true.
Each year that passes I am more and more aware of how quickly it all goes by. Fifteen. He’s studying to get his learner’s permit. I hold in my mind the image of him toddling away from me and soon he will drive away from me. But, just as surely as I knew it then, I know he’ll return to me. He returned then because he needed me. He’ll return now not because he needs me or even because he loves me, which of course he does. No, this time it will be because he genuinely respects and likes me. The feeling is mutual.