There were many subjects I considered writing about for this post. However, I chucked them out the window.
Because it hit me that, this week, something dramatic happened. I became the father of a teenager.
I remember when that concept first hit me. It was five days prior to my son’s 11th birthday. I glanced at him in the rearview mirror to inquire as to how he felt about the impending day. “Are you excited about turning eleven?”
“Yes, Dad, five more days until I’m eleven. Then only 735 days until I’m a teenager.”
At that point, I turned and focused on the road. It was safer than running off of it. I wasn’t even thinking about two years from then. Only enjoying the now.
“A teenager? You’re thinking about becoming a teenager?”
“Yes, I am.”
I didn’t know what to say after that. What did it say about me? How old did it make me? Last week, I went to his middle school band concert. They played a wonderful show, closing with “We Will Rock You” by Queen. It brought back memories of high school for me when I was in the high school and high school bands played “Another One Bites The Dust.” (Granted, my high school team wasn’t overly successful, so it was usually the other team’s band playing that song, but still it was a memory.)
But I’m not that old, at least not to me. I do have classmates that have adult and college-age children and I wonder how that makes them feel. At least one of my high school classmates is now a grandfather, so I wonder about that as well.
But it’s different when it happens to others vs. when it happens to you.
I know I have several more years to enjoy my older son and definitely more than that to enjoy his younger, elementary school age brother. But realizing that my son is now a teenager makes me think I have less time with him than ever. He’s growing up and one day he’ll move out and be on his own.
Still, there are other worries I have. On that day in the car, when my older son let me know he was only two years away from being a teenager, he added one more sentence. “And five years from now, I’ll be driving.”
I know I’m not ready for that.