Tuesday, May 18, 2010

They say it's your birthday!

Ninteen years ago, I wasn't a father. Nonetheless, my son was born. I didn't know it when I met him, days after his birth, at a Square Dance convention but the baby I played with, who'se fists bunched around my fingers, would all too soon be someone I claimed as my own.

I didn't see Adam for years. To me, he skipped from being a baby in a car seat at a dance to being a young boy with a bit of a lisp graduating from Kindergarden. There is no in-between.

I missed it.

I wish I could have been there for his first steps ... but I taught him to drive.

I wish I could have been there for his first words ... but I was there for his first english paper.

I wish I could have been there when he cried for food ... but I was there when he cried ... over girls, over devastating medical news, over the hurts that cut deeply.

Thinking back on all the things we've done over the years, missing those first five and a half doesn't sound like much ... but they're fully 1/4 of his life ... and now that he's talking seriously about moving out ... the 14 years I've had just don't seem like enough.  I want to reach out and hold him some more. I want to keep him home where the problems are less real, and the bills are covered.

He's planning on staying home about another year ... He needs to get a bit more of a handle on his medical condition, get some things in order.  But he's ready. I can feel it in my gut, and I'm sure he can. I already miss that baby that I held so many years ago. I already miss that hard headed stubborn 5 year old that argued with me over toys.

And I already miss the punk rocker pain in the ass that's occupied the bedroom across the hall from me for the last several years.

My Son: Adam
Happy Birthday, kid ... you may be ready, but I'm damned well not.
God ... help me survive this!

        aka: goofdad


Charlotte said...

My oldest is only 13, but just thinking about the short 5 years I have left makes my stomach knot. Considering how quickly those 1st 13 went, one blink and they will be gone.

Kelly said...

This made me weepy. I often say we're halfway to half-freedom (aka, sending one kid out of the next, hopefully, for college), but the truth is, I have no idea what I'll do when my big boy leaves the roost.

At least you (and I) know that moving out doesn't really mean much when it comes to children and their parents -- they'll always need us, and vice versa.

Cindy @ Mama Dragon's Lair said...

I so get this! My oldest is 14, and off on his 8th Grade Trip. TEN days, on a bus, with his class and 3 teachers. And no parents. If this is hard, I can imagine how hard it will be when he starts talking about moving out!
And the part where you talk about the parts of his life you weren't there for gets to me, too. 2 of my 3 are adopted, my daughter when she was 2, and I'm still sad about all the moments I missed with her.

S. K. said...

I wish I could tell you it ends, this helpless longing to rock my babies and make things better; when popsicles were a magic recipe for a smile. but each age has its triumphs and joys as well as its sorrows. Sometimes I miss you two so much--and you're only 3 blocks away! but you have lives, lives, houses and (yay!) jobs. The people I miss aren't here any more; but I'm so grateful for the people they became.

The Father of Five said...

Dead Kennedys Tee shirt?? This kid has a good head on his shoulders!!

Hang in there - They will be more than you realize - need your help more than you realize - etc.. At least for the first couple of years.

And, if you did your job right - then he will become a happy, successful and INDEPENDENT young man!

Privilege of Parenting said...

Happy Birthday to both you guys. I guess when it comes to birth of consciousness, it has something to do with realizing that we're all actually here right now, and that on one level we all come and go, while on another we're all here in this "home" of the world and our bedrooms are all more or less across the hall.

All Good Wishes