Now my son is more than twenty years old. Not a lot more. Just a day or so, but now he can officially be "twenty-something." This is a marked difference from the first few years of his life when we were counting his existence in months. Two hundred forty, in case you were wondering. The milestones come a little farther between. The walking and talking thing he's pretty much mastered now. It is his father that struggles with those things more now. That's part of the curse of not having a kid when you're young enough to share every minute with them. So much of his life is currently vicarious amusement for his parents at this point.
Which is, as I have mentioned here, a victory. Not a completely joyous one, but a victory nonetheless. Out in the world is where we really need him to be, struggling and taking his big swings. Looking over his shoulder occasionally to make sure that we are still watching.
I am glad that my son will, from time to time, drop by this page during one his regular forays into Al Gore's Internet to see what is on his dad's mind. Like so many of my constant and not-quite-so-constant readers, he prefers those entries that feature him or references to him. He's happy to catch up on what is on my mind, but he prefers to read about himself. Like looking at old photo albums, it's always interesting to see pictures of what used to be, but it's nice to have some context. Well, here it is, kiddo: your context.
I am so glad to have had all those moments together. Even the ones in which your mother left to go to an appointment or meeting and left the two of us alone. You looking out the window, wondering how you got stuck with me, and me reassuring you with every other breath that mommies always come back. She did. And eventually you came to trust me on this. Somewhere in there, you started to miss me too. When I went to work, long before you were rolling out of bed to get to your school, I came in to make that first vain attempt at waking you up. Because you are a champion sleeper.
I know this because you have fallen asleep in Disneyland. Not recently, but once upon a time, when your little clock ran down, I carried you out with your head resting on my shoulder. All that magic still swirling around in your head, but eyes closed to let the dreams begin. Someday you'll carry me out of Disneyland. We have a deal.
Now it's been two decades and I am pleased and happy that there are jokes my father told me that will, with your help, survive for another generation. There are people who will never meet me who will hear about "my dad" and laugh. I couldn't be more proud.