So the Boy turns 18 this week. Those of you who are parents of older kids know the mixed feelings this evokes. The whole goal of parenting is to rear them to responsible adulthood, and yet when it gets here we miss the child they were.
The child arrived in a state of chaos. 48 hours of attempted induction, followed by an emergency C section the next day when he got stuck ("failure to progress" as the doctors like to call it), resulting in a legendary epic known around our house as "Labor as a 3 day weekend".
The Boy himself, however, has stayed relatively calm and unruffled through it all.
Including, of course, the intrusions of Mom's camera.
As a child he didn't talk much till he was about 3, then he used complete sentences. Most of the time he just seemed to absorb things, "the sponge" my cousin called him. "An old soul" other people said.
Once I was at a party that featured a psychic doing readings, and when I asked about my children, she told me The Boy was a golden child, one of those children who rolled through everything and came out shining. He has always been like that.
In a crisis he has always been reliable, and not panicky. He is the one to grab the first aid kit and take care of things, and worry later.
His last weeks of childhood have been wrapped in typical chaos, as he raced about trying to finish his Eagle Scout project on time, further complicated by all the difficulties inherent in getting his first year of college squared away. Through it all he remained confident things would in fact work themselves out.
Recently he cut his hair. It was mainly for the coolness, working out at summer camp, but it also took away the last bit of cute kid, in favor of a new person, an adult. Not that he doesn't have his teenager moments still, but the adult is definitely here to stay.
Not our kid anymore. But still our son.