End of an Era

Legally, yes, the big number was 18, but I think in many ways the more important number is 21, if only because all the years of underage drinking finally end in a glorious revelation that the person drinking legally today has been drinking ALL ALONG.

In short, we have not been invited to Richmond for Dixon's 21st birthday celebration tonight. We'll visit him on Monday.

But as of midnight, he reaches the historical age of majority, and given his status as The Youngest Kid In His Class Since Always, I'm sure he's more than ready to join his fellow VCU seniors in their public enjoyment of spirits. It's a bright new day.

Still, it's also the end of an era for me and Kelly. Ian and Dixon will always be OUR children, but there's no longer any pretense that either is a child. Hasn't been for a while, really. But Kelly still felt compelled to text Dixon and inform him: "THIS IS YOUR LAST DAY AS A TINY CHILD."

Actually, that day passed long ago, but we're parents. We linger on those days in our memories. Even as my mother is visiting us right now, regarding me as the big hairy man I've been for decades, there are still images in her head of my childhood, images she recalls with a clarity I cannot match, and I'm comforted by the fact that someone else is keeping parts of my past intact when I cannot do the job myself. That's our entire purpose as parents: to do the thing that lies beyond our children's abilities, and to teach them to do it for themselves.

We remember that you needed us, and we sometimes like to remember being needed. But I think we also enjoy not being needed. And when you're old enough to make your own lives, we have the chance to make more of our own as well.

Happy birthday, Dixon. We won't forget.

Dixon Penguin.jpg

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This page contains a single entry by Peter Cashwell published on August 30, 2014 11:56 AM.

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