My mother-in-law hosts a supper for just about every family event from birthdays to anniversaries. She gets a particular joy out of making the boys a unique, or special cake on their birthdays.
Tonight she had us all over for lasagna, ribs and a Strawberry Cheesecake Ice cream cake. Aidan turns 15 on Tuesday. Apparently, when asked what kind of cake he wanted this year, he did not want an Apple logo or a tennis racket. He is growing up.
While he was blowing out the candles on the cake, his great grandfather was smiling and commenting on how great it was that three generations of his family were together celebrating. wonderful, it is really wonderful, he observed.
Pop is 94 and just a few months ago chose to leave the very house we were celebrating in, to take up residence in a seniors residence. I could not help but think how quickly time flies and question the meaning of it all. As if he was reading my mind, Pop says, O my, they are getting so big. Fifty years flies by like nothing, makes you wonder what it is all about!
This time next year Aidan will be getting ready to write his beginners opening up a brand new chapter in responsibility and trust. He is growing up so quickly which makes me so incredibly proud and at the same time depressingly sad. Old dad is becoming less and less important as he grows into an independent adolescent preparing to shed the training wheels of our protective grip.
More than ever my thoughts are about the choices he will have to make. What was I thinking about at 15? Girls, computers & reading. I had a steady girlfriend whom I dated throughout high school and into the first year of my posts-secondary education. There was no I access to the Internet and only two channels on TV. My sneakers came from Sears - as did most of my wardrobe and I had not developed a personal style.
Like all parents, I wish he could learn from my mistakes, to apply my life's lessons to his life journey. To realize how quickly time races by and how every single second is valuable when the bottom of the hour glass is nearly full. To not be distracted by those that drain you of your talent and potential. To truly be mindful, grateful, respectful, loving and passionate. To ensure he gets the best out of life and have no regrets. To realize time flies.
Than pop, who lived a life in service to the betterment of his community, says one again, what is it all about? I don't have an answer beyond the biological imperative to reproduce. What I do know is that I am a better man because of my kids.
Their success is what it is all about to me.
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