“…but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:11
My family recently attended the wedding of one of our daughter’s high school soccer team mates. This girl had been a part of our family for more than ten years. Our families were friends, the daughters sisters, the sons buddies.
When the girls graduated, they each went separate ways. They kept in touch, but we didn’t see her for the better part of three years. Both girls, attending schools three hours apart, are set to graduate from college this spring.
At the wedding reception, we sat with several other of their high school teammates catching up with what each had been doing. Our son, WK, a sort of little brother to them all, sat among the girls, enjoying the renewed attention.
As the bride made her way around the room, greeting her guests, she eventually arrived at our table. Hugging her old friends, giving an extra long squeeze to my husband, calling him by his preferred nickname, ‘Coach.’ He had at one time coached all of them in city rec ball when they were very young.
Oddly, she seemed to just give a cursory wave to WK. I knew what was happening, and smiled over at our daughter who picked up the cue.
“Kim, don’t you recognize WK?”
The range of emotions that played across her face was fun to watch.
Her eyes grew wide, her hands came up and covered her mouth, tears threatened to fall ~ she turned to me and his dad, then started to laugh.
“WK! What happened to you?” she squealed. “You’re a grown man!”
The last time she saw him, he was barely over five-foot, now he is six-foot tall or more. His military buzz cut replaced by a long mane of curly blond hair, the shadow of a matching beard on his cheeks. Not the little middle school kid she knew when she graduated high school, but a man she now mistook as the date of one of her 21-year-old friends.
While he looks every bit the part of an adult, my son is equally still a kid. He can be incredibly silly, making the worst ‘your mom’ and ‘that’s what she said’ jokes. He has the best laugh and sweetest smile. Yet, in the evenings, he is diligently going to school, working toward a life of independence, learning what it means to be on his own
He’s at the in-between age of teenager and grown up. This summer he reaches that official 18-year-old milestone. As much as I yearn for him to cross that line, to be comfortable and successful on his own, I know that it will be harder for him to make that transition than it was for his older sister.
I’m eager to help him make that move to adulthood, but have also made peace with the realization that it may still be a while.