As families, we have those special days that stand out in our memories.
When that baby is born.
The first birthday.
The first step.
The first tooth.
There are times when you think you’ll always be changing diapers and be awakened for 3:00AM feedings.
But they pass eventually.
Then, there’s the first day of school.
You think, “Wow! it’s going to be more than a decade of this!!”
And it seems like the next day, you’re sitting in the crowd waiting to hear the name of that graduate called as he walks across the stage as a high school senior.
But then there’s driving him to college to set up his dorm or apartment and unless you’re devoid of any emotion, you find a lump in your throat and some moisture in the corners of your eyes as you drive away and watch him wave.
Four long years.
Gone in a whisper.
Then you’re back to sitting in a crowd waiting to hear that young man’s name called again, this time for graduating Summa Cum Laude from college.
Now it’s time for the big test.
Get a job and start your life’s work.
Sometimes you think that’s never going to happen.
You think he doesn’t seem to be trying hard enough.
But he’s always been pretty good at “shaking hands and kissing babies”, making those contacts you need to get started.
And just about the time you think he’s going to live in your basement until he retires, he gets that call.
He’s got a job in the career field he went to school for.
One might say, “Bravo!”
He’s pretty much a glorified “go-fer” but he’s meeting people, making contacts and learning how to play the game.
The big game…of life.
And then he’s planning with a couple of buddies to rent a place in the big city.
The day comes to pack up all of his goodies and move to the little Cape Cod-style home that he has selected.
It’s a great starter place.
But it’s never going to be nice enough for Mom.
But we guys see potential.
And, after hauling boxes and tubs in from 3 different vehicles, the move is pretty much complete.
So we decide to go get a bite to eat.
I’m sitting at the table and I glance to the other end and I see this young man that I used to call “Butt Nugget” when he was a little guy.
And I realize that the little bird is flying the nest.
It’s just like it’s supposed to be.
He’s not really a little bird.
We pretty much look eye-to-eye when we face one another.
I also know that although I know how to fight dirty, he could really “Take me” if he wanted to.
Can this be the same young man whose head I held in my hands when he was still new to the world?
Is this the same person who sat in my truck while I washed it and completely unwound one of my favorite cassette tapes on the floor?
Was this the same guy who proudly announced to us one day that he was going to be “Red X”, the next “super hero” not knowing then that we’d have signs made for graduation with big, red X’s printed on them to flap about as he took the walk across stage.
Can this be the same curly-mopped kid who used to mutter “Shevits” when he was studying something?
(I’ve never gotten a clear definition as to what the word meant.)
Is this the same little fellow that proudly announced to the world that he had made the mess to end all messes while standing in a public shower with the guy that would eventually adopt him?
Is it possible this is the same little guy who called Grandma “Magi” and then confessed to flushing “magi” down the toilet.
That “magi” turned out to be a plastic soldier.
Could this be the same tiny tyke I carried in my arms for an entire evening while his Mom and Grandmother enjoyed a night out?
He cried and cried and cried so much he’d have those occasional shuddering sobs as I changed him, burped him, rocked him and wore the carpet out walking from room to room with him.
Finally, with a deep sigh his head laid down on my shoulder, he shuddered a deep sigh and fell asleep.
Just as his Mom and Grandmother returned from their time away.
My wife and I experienced all this as we raised our two daughters and now we get to savor similar emotions with our grandchildren
There are times that are just as fun.
There are times that put lumps in your throat and make your eyes wet.
We’re very proud of this fine, young man who doesn’t seem to mind “hanging with the old folks”, especially if we’re buying.
We think he’ll be fine and we wish him well on this life adventure he’s embarked on.
Go get’em Logan!