Even though I write anonymously, I don't post details about my children in this blog, out of respect to their privacy.
But my oldest son turns 19 today, and I must say, what a strange feeling that is for me.
I can still remember turning 19. I was living in San Diego, going to college. It was the first time I had lived away from family. I was living in a dorm with my roomate who was from a small town in Northern California. She had met only one other Jew in her life. I honestly think she was relieved to find no horns coming out of my head.
We had a great "roomy" relationship, though. We had our own friends and interests... coming and going, quietly respecting eachother's space and time.
My girlfriends baked a cake for me which read: "I can't believe I ate the whole thing, screamed Randi on her 19th birthday". I'd only been in San Diego a few short months, and had already earned that reputation.
We didn't need much in the way of material things. A good record player was mandatory, with lot's of Dave Mason, Bruce Springstein, Bob Dylan, and Bad Company playing over and over on it.
I worked hard in school, hoping to become a teacher, like my dad. I decided to spend one summer working in a pre-school to test the reality waters of this occupation.
After a 3 year old told me to F#*K OFF...I thought twice about pursuing a career with children.
Nonetheless, I continued to major in child development and minor in psychology. It would take me a few more years to figure out exactly what direction I would go in.
When I look in the mirror, the 19 year old is gone. I know that. And yet, I can still remember her, even though I am miles away from that person. At 19, your whole life lies ahead of you. The choices are endless.
31 years have gone by since my 19th birthday. And now I stare into the eyes of my son...this person who came from me...19 and his whole life ahead of him.
I hope when he is 50, he will have what I have. Married to a person who is his best friend and a couple of children who drive him crazy, because he loves them more than his own life.
The years between 19 and 50 are many. They pass in the blink of an eye.
You don't know that when you're 19, though. And maybe that's a good thing. Not knowing that, is what keeps you motivated to find yourself. You have all the time in the world...and you really do. You can dream and explore. Dylan's words "when you got nothing, you got nothing to lose" were never more appropriate.
I wonder if the next 31 years will go by as quickly. That would make me 81. Hopefully, if I'm still around, I'll look back at that "young" girl of 50, and know that both she and I had fulfilled the long ago dreams of a 19 year old.