I also remember going to a family get-together and while his aunts were holding him, he was crying and crying. But as soon as I came in the room, he stopped crying, he lit up and held his arms out for me. He was so happy to see me and his aunts were so mad. “How come he likes you so much better,” they wanted to know. I laughed and laughed and didn’t tell them it was just that when he saw me he thought that meant it was time for lunch.
I remember when he was 2 1/2 perhaps, toddling around the house in nothing but his diaper, while we were all sitting around watching the movie Jaws. When the music in the movie turned scary, he came around to each of us, one at a time, and very carefully placed his hand on each of our knees, saying, “You scared, you scared? It okay,” and then very gently patting us, before going on to the next person, “You scared, you scared? It okay.” Then he declared to the whole room, “I not scared, I not scared.”
He’s very recently signed up to join the Navy and, about a month after he graduates high school, will be headed off to basic training. It makes me feel a little anxious. It makes me feel a lot old. But mostly what it makes me feel is proud.
To him I say: I’m so proud of you. I hope that the Navy offers you everything you’re looking for. And if it doesn’t, that’s okay. Because there’s always time to figure it out later. That’s the thing about growing up — when you’re a teenager, you think you’ll figure it all out in your 20s. And when you’re in your 20s, you think you’ll figure it all out in your 30s. When you’re in your 30s, you think you’ll figure it out in your 40s. But somewhere in there you realize you’re probably never going to figure it out...because life is an ever evolving thing. If you’re doing life right, you keep growing as a person. This means you have more things to figure out, but it also means you’re becoming a better person every day. And it’s not just the big stuff that changes you, it can be the little things too. So while you’re out there in the world looking for that one big event that’s going to change you, shape you, turn you into the man you’re supposed to be? Don’t forget to look for the little things too. Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference. Good luck! I love you, Bug.
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