Twenty-four years ago that guy on the far right was me. Of course if you are among the regulars here you are probably getting sick of seeing that photo but sometimes you just have to roll with what life hands you.
And I am rolling, oh yes, I am rolling because there aren’t many choices and I am good with that.
Today I am looking at the 20 year-old boy in that picture because I am trying to figure out if the almost 12.5 year-old boy who calls me dad will look anything like the guy in the picture.
I Don’t Like Girls
The boy who told me he doesn’t like girls because they are annoying has almost finished his first year of middle school. That is a milestone in itself as will the Bar Mitzvah this Winter, but that is not what got me thinking today.
No, what caught my eye was the birthday party invitation he received…from a girl.
Yes, a girl in his class invited him to help celebrate her 12th birthday. He hasn’t decided if he is going to go yet because he wants to check in with his friends first. I understand that, I appreciate it.
Maybe I am making too much of it, but when he got an invitation from Olivia it surprised me. I have no idea who she is and that is ok. Why would I know all of the students in class, middle school is different.
Parents don’t get to hang out there and that is cool too.
Every time I speak with him I notice changes and it occurs to me that we are on the verge of some big ones.
Seven Years Later
Don’t ask me to explain why I picked seven years later because it was arbitrary. It was an easy number and some ways a surreal one.
Seven years from now I’ll be 51 and he’ll be turning twenty.
Seven years from now he’ll be in college and living who knows where. Can’t say I know where I’ll be living for certain either. I can make some predictions, but if life has taught me anything it is hard to predict that far into the future.
Maybe if certain plans go well seven years from now he and I will be doing another Iron Man together.
What I Am Sure Of
What I am sure of is that he has my hands and that seven years from now they’ll look an awful lot like my hands do now and in the picture.
Can’t say if his face will resemble mine or if he’ll be taller or shorter and that is ok. He likes to be his own man and I want him to be. It is a bit obnoxious for me to want him to look like me, but blame it on a father’s hope for some control of the future.
Not that looking like me will bestow wisdom or other magical properties.
I look forward to the future, but I won’t complain if seven years feels like it takes seven years, time moves too quickly as it is.