My son turns 13 today.
I have a teenager in the house now. Not just any teenager, a male teenager. A sports- and video game-obsessed teenager. It's only a matter of time before he discovers girls, at which point I fully expect my mustache to turn white.
A teenager. It seems like only yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital, all full of hope and wonder and quite a bit of terror. This person, this small tiny life all its own that we were responsible for, this baby was ours and ours alone. Now, he's pretty well grown up - he's taller than his mother; on his way to being taller than his dad, and right now if he didn't grow another inch he'd be just a little on the short side for a grown man.
It's funny. Every stage of my son's life, I thought that it was the very best. The infant stage, when he'd fall asleep on my chest, that was awesome. Then he started walking and talking, and the very first time I heard "Daddy" I thought my heart was going to burst from happiness. Putting him on the bus the first day of school; watching him play in his first basketball game; every step along the line has been fantastic.
Today's a real milestone birthday, right up there with 10 (double digits) and 16 (license). He has crossed the threshold from tween to teen, and in many cultures would be considered an adult at this point. He's at the stage where he can take care of himself for the most part (he would stay up until 3AM playing video games and I don't even want to talk about some of the hygiene "challenges"), and in just a couple of years he's looking forward to getting a part time job.
But those milestones will come later. Right now, it's my son's 13th birthday and we're cooking him his favorite dinner (it's a family tradition) tonight. This weekend we'll do something to celebrate, maybe let him choose a restaurant for dinner. I hope I'm thinking about this too much, because if he realized how sentimental his old man is getting, he'll either give me grief or try to ply some more gifts out of me. Or both...
Happy birthday buddy. I love you!
That is all.