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The Samurai's Heart by Walt Mussell

The Samurai's Heart

by Walt Mussell

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Yes...It's That Time

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.

6 comments:

Karen Roderick said...

Ha ha! Wonderful! Though I know this will come back to haunt me - ok, I have 8 years to go until teenageville but I do occasionally let my mind wander to the fact i will have not 1 but 2 teenage sons - very unfamilair territory - and not only that, teenagers scare me! I do still remember being one (just!) and being very angst! It was the driving comment at the end that made me laugh - brilliant, K.

Victoria Dixon said...

Thank God I'm not there yet, Walt but I kinda got this feeling at my 40th B-Day. It was a milestone I'd expected to reach as a rich and famous author. Not as a unpublished, frazzle-haired Mom who has trouble making rent. LOL I got there unprepared for reality because I didn't - still don't - feel 40.

Keli Gwyn said...

The teen years? Been there, done that. Our one and only is off at college. I look back and wonder how the years seemed to go by so quickly when some of the trying toddler and teen days seemed never ending. Now, those days are memories, and I thank those wise grandmotherly types who advised me to enjoy them while they lasted. To the best of my ability I did, and now I'm having a blast watching our gal mature into a fine young woman.

I hope your sons' teen years are some of the best yet, Walt, and that you have a blast making your memories.

Kathy said...

Yup, teenagers. I remember those years.

My oldest son just turned 24 yesterday. He's been driving since he was 16 and has never been in an accident. So hopefully your son will do just as well!

The years go by very fast. Treasure each one.

Walt M said...

I've been the father of a teenager for barely more than a week.

Already, it's nervewracking, but I'm definitely enjoying it.

BECKY said...

Hi Walt! It is an odd thing...this growing up that our children do, and yet we parents still feel young ourselves. Where did the years go? And I can really relate to the comment left by Keli Gwyn. Our youngest son graduates from college next week. Sometimes I feel as if I turned around one day, and that little boy I knew and loved so much, had somehow turned into a man. Of course, I love him tremendously and am so proud of his accomplishments, but I still miss that little boy. Is that normal for moms? And dads? I would think/hope so! Yes, enjoy them as much as you possibly can!