Can you believe it? I can’t. In my head he is still this sweet little 4 year old boy in overalls, shoving a Tonka truck all over the yard. Now? He’s taking a girl to Prom. He drives a big truck-thing-beast. He can argue effectively for hours, then smile sweetly and do that melt-my-heart shrug that the family baby always seems to get away with.
He’s a good fellow. They all are, but as the 8-years-younger-that-the-next-one he gets the honor of forever being The Sweet Baby Everyone Forgives…or maybe overlooks…or maybe he saw all the nonsense the others did and because he’s The Sweet Baby, chooses not to put me through all that. Whatever, I predict a heckuva midlife crisis but by then he won’t be my problem anymore. Only I hear that mothers never quit worrying.
Anyway, here he is. 17. Men his age were marrying regularly, a long time ago. Some were lying about their ages and joining the military. Some were supporting family, taking on the weight of being The Man Of The House. I can see him doing that. Sort of. He’s pretty
conciensous consciensious…careful. He would have to grow up quick to do it, but he has grown up pretty quick already. This last year has been a growing event, for sure. Occasionally I get angry at Himself, for leaving all our sons without a father to guide them, but particularly #4, because he is on the cusp on manhood and that is a job I can’t teach him. He is, however, navigating those waters pretty well no far.
He isn’t without the occasional stupid act, like the time he sliced open his hand while sharpening his knife in the parking lot of the school. Fortunately it is a small private school and they understood. If it had been a large public one he’d likely be at the local juvenile detention center, charge with heinous assault (even though it was himself he assaulted). As it was, the worst that came out of it was a dressing down by the headmaster for not being more careful, and from me for interrupting my morning to take him for stitches.
This whole prom thing is exciting. I wasn’t expecting to have any sort of interesting involvement in it, but the young lady he is taking meets with my wholehearted approval, particularly since I get to make her dress. He has chosen carefully what he is going to wear, and it isn’t the normal rented tuxedo. No. It isn’t. It has been ordered and should arrive a few days before the Prom, to make sure it fits properly. I will certainly post pictures of his handsome self, and of her if she approves. Or at least of her with her face disguised. His choice of Prom wear is SO HIM. We discussed at length the right thing, probably spent more time going over it than his date did over her attire. But I am going to do what I can to make sure she is lovely and they look great together and we have some amazing pictures of the whole thing.
Anyway, #4 is 17. Tall, blonde, and handsome in his own goofy-grin-and-glasses sort of way. He has those looks that will develop in a couple of years into someone who has girls trailing after him, and he already has sense enough to know how to pick an interesting one. I do not fear for his future, I am excited about it.