by Jon Worley
My son Max is now ten. His hands are almost as big as mine, as are his feet. At least he won't be as tall as me for three or four years. But, y'know, he's growing up.
While he's been around for only one-fourth of my life, I don't remember much about my life pre-kids. I do recall a sense of impermanence. Yes, my wife and I bought a house when we lived in St. Pete, but that wasn't permanent. We moved from there to York, Pa. (which we knew wasn't permanent) and then on to Durham, N.C. (which we thought might be permanent, but didn't turn out to be). But until Max and his younger brother arrived, permanence was a concept, not a reality.
Kids will do that to you. But at some point, you begin to realize that they are as impermanent as houses or anything else. Yes, they will be alive and well, but at some point they leave. And Max is more than halfway finished with his time in our house. It's hard to believe, especially when he acts like a 10-year-old. But there's no getting around the clock. It just keeps ticking.
I prefer to ignore the clock. I'd rather simply enjoy the moments. Last weekend, Max used his first post move in basketball. He stood in the middle of the lane, guarded by two smaller players in front and one about his size behind him. He repeatedly called for the ball, motioning to the point for the ball to come in high. It did, and he jumped up to get it. The smaller players moved underneath him, and so Max sent them sprawling when he came down. Then he turned and shot over the defender on his back. Two points.
Max has always been tall, but it has only been in the last year or so that he has figured out how to use his height as an advantage in sports. Moments like the one Saturday are fun to see. Your children are never what you want them to be, which is a good thing. It's more gratifying to watch them becoming who they want to be.
Unlike many kids, I never doubted my parents's love or approval. My folks could be strict about any number of things, but I knew they were on my side when it counted. If someone else didn't believe in me, if I was in a tough position, I knew that they believed in me. I hope my wife and I are doing that for our boys.
It's also true that kids teach you more than you teach them. My view of the world has changed since having kids. I'm less judgmental and more open to different ways of doing things. Having kids has made me a more patient person. Having kids has also made me a more tired person, but I'll take the tradeoff.
Having a kid in the double digits doesn't freak me out or anything, but it is a reminder that my life keeps moving on as well. Best to take advantage of the time you have, because you won't have it forever.
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