My boys— young men—were born into a world where the expectation was juvie at 15, fatherhood at 16, prison at 18, and death before 25; but I was blessed with their care at young ages: the oldest boys when they were 4,5,6, the youngest when he was 8 months; and a girl when she was 5. There are no words for how much I love these children, and I am blessed again to know them as young adults. It’s mind-boggling.
The short version is, my youngest son is preparing to apply to colleges and my second oldest just became a father. They’re now 17 and 28.
I am feeling quite ambivalent.
My kids are in two eras. The older three were born ’89 to ’91. The younger two came in ’00 and ’01. The difference in years used to seem huge, but now my boys stand looking each other in the eye. When they all laugh, it’s like rumbling thunder. Listening to them together always moves me to tears.
While sitting in the waiting room awaiting the Grand Gift’s arrival, the oldest started reminiscing about the stories I used to tell them, and they all chimed in which ones were their favorites, and how I embellished common folktales. They talked about Jellybean Meetings and the horrors of Three Bean Salad. I miss being the coolest person they know. I miss my little boys.
But…as I sat there looking at my young men, I was awestruck by who they’ve become, how wonderful they are, and how blessed I am to have them.