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A Grown Son

August 8, 2010

I had breakfast with my son Jack yesterday.  It is shocking to me that I haven’t seen him in over 6 weeks.  He is only 19-years-old, but things have taken us in different directions as of late.  When I saw him coming across the street, my heart jumped at the sight of this beautiful young man.  How did he get from that kid who couldn’t sleep without Q-Pig ( his all time favorite little buddy) to this tall fellow who could drive himself to breakfast without his mother? 

It was great, the breakfast, being with him, everything.  The time apart gave us this space to enter into the next phase of our relationship, that of me seeing him as an independent and him also viewing me as such.  We caught up, talked about Idaho, talked about what he was up to, the changes in his life.  He shared more with me than he ever has.  My hope is that he is seeing me as an ally in this life, not just a protective parent, someone to keep his private life from.  I still feel protective of course, but I must control myself.  After all 19-year-old men are serving their country, becoming fathers, joining our nation’s ranks as citizens.  This corner, the one around which he will see me as an adult with possibly some pretty darn good insight, has been already turned with my older daughters.  It is different with a son, the gender gap spanning between us, an unclosable gap, yet bridges are built.

I asked him if he knew what he wanted to do yet.  He answered that the only thing he really knows is that he wished he didn’t take last semester off, so he would be further along at the jr. college.  Great answer, I thought, since knowing what you wished you had done certainly helps define what you want to do in the future.  I left with a full heart, happy all the way to my toes, grateful to have spent this alone time with him, hopeful for many more times.  The best part was how much I felt his happy willingness to do this simple thing with me, how he genuinely wanted to know how I was and how he made the initial attempts

Q Pig today

to trust me, his parent, with his budding adult self.  So, my place in his life is different, as is should be.  Time apart has helped us make a good transition, but… I am still the keeper of Q-pig.  He is shabby and worn, repaired often and probably not washed enough.  That old pig has been loved, but not left.  He has a permanent home with me, until Jack shows up one day and wants him back.

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