The boy in blue and white in the air is my firstborn. I remember details of his birth and looking into his tiny blue eyes for the first time. All ten fingers and toes accounted for. I remember his daddy crying and laughing all at one time. I remember sleepless nights and not having a clue what I was doing. I remember the first smile. I remember feeling like a failure on many, many occasions. I remember his first steps. I remember his first birthday cake---I made it, it was one of those things shaped like a dinosaur. I remember crying because it wasn't perfect. I've since given up that anything can be perfect. I remember his first day of kindergarten and how "I'm not going!" was his mantra for the whole summer preceding it. I remember that "I didn't just have a great day, I had a double great day!" was his reply when I asked how that first day went. I remember that I enjoyed his company. He was a great little guy.
Now he's a great, big guy. He's 5'11 and I'm 5'4. I still enjoy his company, although I get less of it now---as it should be. I get fewer smiles, but that's the nature of the teenage beast. The smiles I get are genuine and 100 watt. His laughter makes my heart sing. He is growing up. Being a sophomore in high school means that in two short years he'll be gone.
On Monday, I helped him take one further step into young adulthood---I let him skip his morning classes to get his drivers license. I'm not really ready for him to drive, because that implies that I trust all the other people on the road. I do trust him though. He's one of the most reliable and sensible people I know. I think we've done pretty darn good as parents, considering no parent ever has a clue what they are doing when they bring home a baby. We are crazy proud of the young man he is becoming. As we launch into another "I remember" era, may the good Lord guide him and us on our travels together and apart.
Update: Friday, April 4th. Just four short days after receiving his drivers license, Thomas drove himself to the mall to see a movie with a friend. Note to self: Breathe, pray, breathe, repeat.