My son is celebrating his 26th birthday. I did some research, and this means that I am really, really old. He is fast approaching the age Lisa and I were on the day he was born. I want to think that I am still young but there comes a time when denial must give way to reality. I can look in the mirror and be blind to the massive bald spot on the back of my head, I can overlook the wrinkles and pretend the gray hairs don’t massively outnumber the blond ones but I can’t ignore the fact that my son is a full grown man working a full grown man job.
He is married, educated and professional in demeanor and appearance. Those with whom he interacts on a daily basis view him as a handsome young man with a quick wit and a bright smile. I see that too, but I also see things they do not.
I see the little boy who created binge watching 25 years ago, the 1 year old in a onesie sitting in the middle of the couch watching every single Disney Sing-Along-Songs video, over and over and over. I see the two year old running through the house pushing his plastic lawn mower in front of him or climbing all the way into the cabinet under the kitchen sink so he could “fix” the pipes.
I see the 3 year old boy who wore a Dalmatian costume for weeks, barking instead of talking and the 5 year old T-ball player who had a knack for hitting kids in the side of the head with his throws. I see the 10 year old who loved Star Wars (this hasn’t changed, at all).
I see my son, all of him. All 26 years of him. I see the baby, the infant, the toddler, the adolescent and the man, all in one glance. I see not just who he has become, but who he is and how he came to be. When I see all of this I feel very proud. I also feel very, very old.