The tall one in the middle is my first born, Tom. He's reached many milestones this year. He turned 16, he got his driver's license, and today he starts his first job. He'll be sacking groceries this summer at my favorite store. He wasn't interested in flipping burgers at Sonic or selling blue jeans at the mall, so the grocery store it is.
I'm really proud of the young man he's become. Considering that all first born children are just giant experiments, it's lucky any of them turn out at all. Parents fly by the seat of their pants every minute of the day and night with that first baby. We make mistakes. Hopefully, love and nibbling on baby toes and necks makes up for some of the mistakes.
I can't believe how quickly the years have passed. In two short years, we'll be out buying him stuff to take to college! I think he'll be ready, but will I?
I have to brag on him a bit. As with all teenagers, he tries my patience. I try his as well. That said, he's an all around great guy. He's uber responsible. A friend recently asked me how he was doing on a project at school. My response was, "I didn't know he had a project." It's not that I don't care, it's just that I don't have to hold his hand with his school work. He doesn't complain, he just gets it done.
The other night, he'd dropped off his little sister at her school dance and then gone to a friend's house. At nine o'clock he called home to ask, "Did you want me to pick up Pearl from the dance, or are you going to?" He and Pearl can barely be in the same room together, but he remembered while he was out doing his own thing, that the dance ended and she'd need to get home. Whose kid does that? Mine, I guess (smile, grin, happy dance).
I was out in the yard working on getting a large area of dead grass raked up and amending the soil a couple weeks ago. Many bags of compost were being opened and spread out. Tom stepped out on the porch and asked if I needed help. I told him I was about done, but thanks. After he closed the door, the porch lights came on. It was about dark and he'd turned them on for me to finish my job.
Last night I was on the same porch cutting James' hair. Again, the porch lights came on. It was dusk. Thanks, Tom, for thinking about what would make my life a little easier. Mostly thanks, for being a great guy. I know it's hard to put yourself in someone else's shoes and think about what they might need, but you're doing a fine job.
As we say in soccer, "Well done!" I'm proud of you. I'm glad I know you and lucky you're related to me.