Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Hey 19

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.


Stacey said...

Happy Birthday to your son, Randi. 19 was almost half my life ago. Sigh. What a fun time. It truly goes to fast. Tell him to enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!

torontopearl said...

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.

Randi, I must've been cutting an onion when I read the above paragraph. The eyes just began to water and fill with tears.

Happy birthday to your big boy, and mazel tov to his mom for giving birth to him 19 years ago.

cruisin-mom said...

Stacey: It was a fun time, but hard, too. Thanks for your good wishes.

Pearl: it's funny...reading my own words quoted back...followed by how it made you tear up (I know, it was the onion)...you made me tear up...must be an awful lot of onion cutting going on.

torontopearl said...

Randi, I read that passage again, and teared up again -- it's when I read the last bit, "Because he loves them more than his own life," when it happens. Darn, there I go again.

You're the therapist; tell me what subconcious thought you're triggering to make me cry at that. Perhaps it's just that you've stated something I've maybe never said out loud in so many words, but nestled and nurtured deep within my heart.

Sweettooth120 said...

It's so true what you wrote about when you are 19. I miss that. I miss the not knowing. Of course life is always throwing curveballs and we are always growing, discovering more things about ourselves as we get older, but it's different. I am almost 39 and I just can't seem to wrap my mind around that. It really does goes by so very fast.

Happy birthday to your son.

cruisin-mom said...

Pearl: It's how you feel about your own children...you love them more than your own life...there is no other relationship like it.

S.T.: "I miss the not knowing". I love that.

I feel like 39 was about 2 minutes ago! It does go by fast.

Thanks for the b-day wishes!

Regina Clare Jane said...

That was a wonderful post, Randi. I knew nothing when I was 19- blissfully unaware of everything. Sometimes I feel like going back again, but I see how much a fulfilled person I am now that I'm in my 40's and the thought goes away- anyway- Happy B-day to your son and many more for you, too!

cruisin-mom said...

Regina: I agree..I like being on this end (although I'd take back my 19 year old body!) By the way, funny that your buddy Jerry Lewis, was just 19 when he paired up with Dean.

Mia said...

What a beautiful post. My eyes also teared up and I was not near an onion.

19 seems like yesterday, although only 11 years ago so much has happend in my life. Happy Birthday to your son!

Regina Clare Jane said...

I know, crusin-mom! JL was so young but he knew what he wanted out of life, even at that early age. And he worked hard for it! That's something I think is missing in our teenagers today (not all, mind you)... motivation and hard work. This feeling of "you owe me" or entitle-itis as I call it,with some youngsters seems to be spreading... even with adults as well!

Neil said...

What a touching post. Does your son ever read your blog?

cruisin-mom said...

RCJ: True, work ethic is not what it used to be.

Neil: This son doesn't read it. My younger one does though, I think just to make sure I'm not saying anything about him. I respect their privacy... so I just blog about things that pertain to me (and periodically making fun of my wonderful husband)

PsychoToddler said...

That was beautiful, Randi. My oldest turns 17 this week. I'm very keenly aware of what I was like at 17, and I'm darned surprised but glad to see how much better my daughter has turned out.

cruisin-mom said...

Thanks P.T. Your daughter is quite the young lady, just from what I've read on her blog and comments to you. You should be proud.