My eldest, Alex, turns 16 today. I resolved to stop sending extensive birthday greetings to loved ones through my blog because it was getting too much of a hassle, plus I forgot once or twice, which made things uncomfortable when I came to bed at night (heh heh).
But I’ll make a small exception for Alex’s 16th. I don’t like calling it “Sweet 16” because, despite a different local practice around my town, it screams “chick thing.” Boys aren’t sweet, though Alex comes close. He never gives me a lick of real trouble (neglecting to turn off a light at night and a short thread of laziness is about as bad as he gets), treats his mother with love and respect, is a great conversationalist, has read more books than the average Harvard applicant, takes his religion seriously and seems to have discerned truths about virtue that escaped me until I was 40, is laid back, works for money, and treats his little siblings like they’re treasures (well, the smaller ones, anyway; the others he treats with simple affection, despite momentary lapses when he gets tired or they get particularly annoying).
I couldn’t ask for a better son, especially hitting in the lead-off spot like he is. He has set a tone for the rest of the kids that they seem to be following. For that, I’ll always be grateful.
At this point in his life, driving and dating are on the table. Just keep the little guy safe. That’s all I ask. I have little doubt that he’ll otherwise be fine. … Read the rest