Today is Geeky Boy’s birthday. He’s 14 and about to go into high school. He’s had a very up and down year and I think he’s looking forward to a new environment and new things. I’ve had a very up and down year as his parent. I feel certain at times that I’m just doing it wrong. But we still muddle through pretty well. Geeky Boy is a generous soul, very forgiving and kind, though I think being that way weighs on him at times, especially when he’s the one getting hurt. I’m proud of that quality in him though. He’s a great kid in so many ways, smart, athletic, sensitive. I worry pretty constantly, though. In part, I know what a minefield my own teenage years were, and I hope he has fewer mines than I did. In part, it’s just that I know I have so much less control over his life now than I did 5 years ago. And that feels really weird to me.
Geeky Girl turns 10 on Sunday. Double-digit midget she calls herself. She, too, is a great kid, though very different from Geeky Boy. While he is quiet and reserved mostly, she is bold and enthusiastic. When she was younger, we used to tell her to use her inside voice all the time. She had what we called a “stadium voice.” She seems to not be afraid of anything. Most of the time, she exudes confidence, though she has moments where she’s unsure of herself.
If someone had told me 14 years ago that I’d be as proud, anxious, excited and terrified about being a parent as I am now, I wouldn’t have believed them. This has been an interesting journey, and in some ways, what’s been interesting about it is how much it’s becoming their journey and not mine. I’m trying to get used to that.