I started this on Thursday but just today got back to it. I decided to leave the what I'd already written so it's written kinda in the past.
Today is was my oldest son's birthday. You know, the big one, he's 14, he outruns me.
To celebrate we went to the Cheesecake Factory. He really didn't want a bunch of attention so we had the waiters sing to him. Wonderful parents we. He is such a great kid. I honestly couldn't ask for a better son. He gets my sense of humor and he likes many of the same things I do. I believe that God gave me exactly what I needed when he gave me that little alien-looking troll 14 year ago today. Smart guy that God.
I had to explain to him tonight how I struggle as a parent to both respect his privacy and snoop just enough to know that he's not starting down a slippery slope of trouble. This arose from an incident a few days ago when I was caught reading his text messages. He was rightfully upset with me and I felt like I'd stepped over a line. In the end we made up and could laugh about it. I did make it clear to him tonight that I will read/snoop/pry/dig into his life if I feel the need. He's not old enough to avoid all the pitfalls life has to throw at him nor should he have to be. He has parents for a reason, we need to shelter him a little and keep the REALLY bad things from happening or going to far. The other things he will just have to learn on his own and it will make him a stronger man in the end.
I left him with the notion that I will get into his life when I feel the need. Right now, however, I don't feel the need because he's a great kid.
Later that night I found him laying in my bed watching TV. I grabbed a baby picture off the dresser and sat down beside him. I started recalling all the great moments from when he was a baby and how cute he was. I was on an emotional roll. Then he stopped me. Took the picture out of my hand and said, "Dad, this is my brother's baby picture".
Go me! Dad of the year!
Thanks for listening