“Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man.”
The night you were born
and you were lying in that little see-through crib
next to my hospital bed,
we were staring at each other for hours,
in awe of the miracle of life.
You were the easiest baby
and an old soul the moment
you started talking
and dressing like an old man.
Your “dress” shirts I never ironed
and your clip-on tie became
like a fixture around your neck.
You had a girlfriend in preschool already
but fessed up to me one day
“that relationships with girls were complicated,”
which was a pretty amazing observation
considering you were 5.
As you hit puberty and adolescence
and started towering over me like
the athletic rower you were,
I missed the close relationship we had had
and the philosophical discussions
we engaged in when you were little.
At 8 you told me stuff about
the universe I didn’t even know.
Like that day I was floored by a pounding migraine
and you tried to cheer me up by
announcing that the sun was a mere star
that would burn up and take our entire civilization with it.
Caroline was not bothered by the news,
subscribing to living in the moment with the comment:
“I’m drawing and that’s all that matters now.”
You and I were more serious, and somehow more alike
Readers, thinkers, dreamers…
But over the years we grew apart
which is normal, and called individuation,
followed by growing up and moving out.
However, in recent conversations, I have felt
the old connection is, in fact, intact.
As if your maturity is allowing you to show
the small-boy wonder and candor of the past
that went too fast.
Once your were little, but really an old man
but now that you’re a man, you are my little guy again.
I thought you had gone away, and though you have,
You have in fact come home again…
Thank you for all the years…
We love you and are very proud of the man you have become
And prouder still of the boy you never left behind.
Now go out and celebrate!