Posted by: notdeaddinosaur | May 1, 2010

Childhood’s End

A child arrived just the other day,
He came to the world in the usual way.

It was an easy, unmedicated birth on a gorgeous Spring afternoon. He didn’t speak until three but read at four, then taught himself to read Hebrew at seven. He seemed to just grok math. His mind wasn’t just quick; it was interesting. Still, there was a sweetness to him that brought him loyal friends, and a strength that made him an Eagle Scout at fifteen.

Somewhere outside Boston today, a young man is turning 21. Alcohol will be gleefully consumed legally for the first time. I am confident he won’t go overboard, literally or figuratively. I toyed with the idea of joining him, but realized this was an occasion to be celebrated on his own, with his friends, at the initiation of his statutory adulthood.

I wrote about dropping him off to start college, in which I used the phrase, “the end of my children’s childhood.” I continue to believe that functional adulthood starts with leaving home, but the impact of the big “two-one” remains. Not only do I no longer have any children at home; I no longer have legal children anywhere.

It’s an occasion for celebration and reflection, with no hint of sadness or regret. I treasure memories of his childhood even as I joyfully anticipate the accomplishments of his maturity.

I like to say that I did things backwards: first I had my family (twins), and then I had my baby. He’s no baby anymore, but he’ll always be mine.

Happy 21st Birthday, NinjaBaker.

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Responses

  1. Thanks, though I do want to point out that it’s not the first time have legally purchased/consumed alcohol. Remember Bermuda? Also, I had a drink or two in Israel (btw, absinthe = fermented bleach, ech).

    Regardless, I shall enjoy purchasing and consuming it in this country, and everywhere else in the world, except where it’s completely banned. The only place I would still need to wait for is certain states in India (they do it on a state by state basis, and some go as high as 25). Luckily, I am not Indian (contrary to popular belief) and have little desire to go there and drink before I’m 25.

    Anyway, I hope everyone else enjoys this day as well. Happy Unbirthday to everyone else.


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