Life is not stagnant. Change, for good or bad, is inevitable. And change occurs whether we are prepared or not.
My son Phillip is seventeen today. So much is different than it was twenty-three years ago when I reached that august age. It as taken awhile, but I am adjusting, or was.
I have answered the phone at 7AM and 11:30 PM to hear the voice of a young lady asking to speak to Phil. Girls, or at least nice girls, didn’t call boys when I was in school. I’m not saying that that was good, or that this change is necessarily bad. It did take time for me to appreciate the difference.
Now it is Jennifer’s turn. Fourteen and about to enter ninth grade, she is ready for all the benefits of high school. But is dad ready?
When I got home from work today, Jenny asked if she could go to the movies tonight. She said that her buddy Steve and his friend Felix were also going. Did she need money for dinner? No, Steve is paying. He owes her a few bucks.
Steve’s mom arrived promptly at 6PM. Out from the car popped a standard issue fourteen year old boy. With his baseball cap reversed on his head, thin, and wearing a Nirvana T-shirt, I hardly recognized Steve.
As Jenny ran to the door exclaimed, “I know you!” She opened the door and he gave her a hug.
She looked over her shoulder at me and by the way of introduction said, “Me dadoo.”
He looked up, took a half a step back and said, “Hi Dad.”
My first impulse was to say something on the order of “TAKE YOUR HANDS OFF MY DAUGHTER!” Instead, I opted for “HI.”
Jenny went to look for her key, while I confirmed that the kids had a ride home. Soon she was bounding down the front steps and getting into the back seat next to Steve.
So much is changing in our lives. I really appreciated that dozens of my readers called with suggestions for my new home. Every suburb from North Olmsted to Concord was recommended. Well, we found the house we really want, and it is in Shaker. We move in as soon as we can sell my house in South Euclid.
In January of 1994, Michelle Messina got tired of listening to her friend Alissa Kaleal bitch about being alone. She forced Alissa to place a personal ad. She forced her to answer the two people who responded. And Michelle made Alissa show up at the Arabica in Shaker Square to meet one of the guys.
Two weeks ago Alissa asked me to marry her. She didn’t need Michelle’s prompting this time. But Michelle will be at the ceremony otherwise limited to family. By the way, I said yes.
We are all in transition.