Do you ever sometimes just look at your kids and wonder where the Hell the time went. I do this often. Maybe it's because I'm soon approaching 40. Maybe it's because in another year, even my youngest son will probably be an inch taller than me. I'm not sure, but I've already got one child with a foot out of the nest, and I'm realizing that my middle boy is, in all reality, not far behind.
To my Max;
If your life was a road trip, I would find myself wondering why on earth we ever even thought about once going over the speed limit, why we passed other cars in our race to our destination, why we didn't take a few more pit stops along the way.
Some days it's hard to believe that you are 16. You wear it well. This is both a compliment, and not. You are moody and emotional, complicated and complex. You challenge me in ways I never thought possible. You have opinions and insight about the world, politics, humanity. There are things in your life that I don't know, which I like to think is a relatively new phenomenon.
You are also witty and sweet, ethereally handsome, and still boyish is all the right ways, even as your shoulders have broadened, and your feet have outpaced mine in size and stride for a couple of years now.
These teenage years are like a highway under construction - the trip takes on a new element of challenge, even from an experienced driver like me, who traveled down a similar freeway with your older brother. Your highway has been a different road, with detours, and barricades, and near constant confusion. I am learning to appreciate the traffic and the opportunity it has given me to remember that this journey won't be forever.....and that is both the best and worst thing.
One day we will roll up to our destination in the true meaning of the word awe. The adult version of your will dwarf the wonder of the Grand Canyon. You are a gift that I have given the world, and I am so confident in my offering. I will revel in the success of our arrival, and I will mourn the end of our journey at the same time. I will lament those cheesy road side pitstops that I chose to skip, and the boring hours will take on a rosy glow that only nostalgia can bring.
I hope I've planned enough and not too much. I hope I've made the hours pass with ease. I hope you know that I knew the way, even when it seems like I didn't. Because you and your brothers -- you are my way.
Thanks for accompanying me so closely on this leg of our trip through life, and for being one of the best guides I could get.
I like you, I love you, I will always protect you, and I will be here for you no matter what.