I went to lunch with my oldest son last week, heard about a job he might get, about the call he hopes for, ate tacos, talked basketball, family, dogs, plans for summer, inside my head I fight my worries and work on a poker face. He is twenty-three.
When I was a new parent, I imagined that my worries for children would have a downhill scale, I would see that helpless infant grow taller and my concerns become smaller until the day they walked out into the world, strong and ready. I was a fool. Worry is always.
We have four kids and I think that they get stronger every day, so why do I still worry so much? I have lost most of my illusions about control, but still push for as much influence as I can get over the randomness of life. Worry is the weaker side of love.
What do they need? How can we help them get it?
The only two things I miss about my own twenties are confidence and good knees. Of course, knee replacement surgery is available. I am pretty sure that my confidence will never return to its former glory. Confidence was a sky full of soap bubble clouds, chased into the fade by wind and rain. All that’s left is a willingness to fight and a growing collection of fumbling strategies.
Lunches, holidays, birthdays, the occasional movie or basketball game. Those are the best, those moments when I can see their smiles and hopes, hear their stories, hear them laugh, the room alive with the noise, food, sarcasm, jokes, complaints, gossip, music, and, and maybe I should call Mom and Dad.