Growing up isn’t easy to watch especially for parents

Dear Sean and Paul:

People keep telling me, with unconcealed and unfounded glee, that you’re growing up fast.

They have told me that you both are getting taller than me (You’re not), smarter than me (fortunately, I’m also unscrupulous, which keeps me ahead), better looking than me (It bothers me, a little, when “they” are your mother) and it’s most vexing when I am informed that I should welcome these developments.

I don’t.

But enough about me.

This column marks what will be your 17th birthday and I hope to remind you, as I have now for 16 years before (Yes, it has been that long) how far you have progressed.

Of course, no letter to you at this point should fail to brag on you, so I want to remind you that you captured awards this year at the western Colorado regional mock trial contest.

I got to see you conduct three trials as an attorney on the way to capturing the best-attorney award.

I was able to watch a couple trials, but I couldn’t be there when you won the award.

So I was surprised then, Sean, when I learned you had won a best-witness award, quite an accomplishment when we consider that you were a witness in only two of the five trials.

This was the year, Sean, that you ditched the glasses and went for the contacts.

Your bespectacled brother and I don’t get it, but you have figured out how to stick your fingers in your eyes and come out just fine.

Just how exactly a kid that we used to carry in a backpack now sports a neck beard that would make Kyle Orton tighten his chinstrap in shame is beyond me, Sean.

Paul, you have become, unaccountably, something of an expert in page design. I say unaccountably because I have no skills in that area, thus the word stuff. Still, if Rick Jussel says it, it must be right.

You’re still getting a steady stream of mail from colleges around the country and it won’t be long before we’re on the road, checking out campuses, Paul.

We might hit a few golf courses on the way, to say nothing of checking out some flywater.

Both of you now outdrive me, which is bad enough. You needn’t, however, taunt me about it. I certainly never did that to you ... that often.

I like to think it is your maturation and growth that has resulted, on the ski slopes, in the fact that I no longer know what you look like from the front.

I am, however, capable to discerning between the two of you from above after several hours of following your tight-ankle turns.

You two were kind enough this winter to wait patiently as I picked and sidestepped my way down a mogul slope that you guys shot down at rifle speed. How was I to know that you paid attention during the Olympic moguls competition? Oh wait. Lindsey Vonn. Never mind.

Sean, you say you’re good with a couple years at MIT (Mesa In Town) before moving on to another college.

Actually, if both of you want to stay through the first two years of college, I’m good with it. Your mom, I suspect, is too.

You guys changed our lives in a twinkling 17 years ago. One day, your mom and I had a house to ourselves. The next day, we began sharing it with you two, carving out new routines to accommodate your needs.

Through the years, we’ve altered everything we do to fit around the two of you.

Now neither of us is eager to become what are called, callously, empty nesters. We’re way too accustomed to being mom and dad.

At least we have a year to get used to the idea of you moving on without us.

They say that’s a good thing, this growing up stuff you’re engaged in.

Still, I’m unconvinced. If you grow up, must I? I hope not.

Of course, they, the ubiquitous “they,” say also that we’re very lucky, your mom and I, to have you two.

“They,” for once, are right.

Love,

Dad


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