Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Life Cycles

I lingered at home a bit longer than usual this morning. Before heading to my office, I prepared breakfast for my family and our four house guests. I made waffles (yes, I make them from scratch,) and offered maple syrup and strawberries as toppings. My son and his guests drank milk and I made some strong coffee for myself. My wife took a well-deserved break, after having cooked for everyone last night.

Four of my son's friends came to visit him yesterday. This being March break week, their parents allowed them to spend the night with us. They all slept in the downstairs exercise room. Including my son, that makes five lively boys, all twelve or thirteen years old. That means a lot of noise, much raucous humour, everything you might expect from a bunch of adolescent boys. What fun.

I like my son's friends. They are good kids. They all come from families where the parents are hands-on. Their moms and dads always know where junior is, what he is doing and with whom. Thank goodness for that. You can see the parents' care and attention manifested in the kids' behaviour.

I'm getting a little nervous about next year, though. My son finishes grade school this year. Next year, it's off to high school. One or more of his friends may not attend the same school. Even if they all did end up at the same high school, there would be no guarantee that they would all be in the same classes. For my son, that would mean exposure to new friends. Perhaps, he will meet kids whose parents haven't been so hands-on, who haven't expended the time and energy to instill appropriate values and good habits in their children. That means I will have to trust my son to make sound judgments, to pick his new friends wisely and not to get drawn into the various types of foolishness that seem to attract so many teenagers. I think I will be able to trust him.

What I find both interesting and encouraging, is that my son and most of his friends have elected to attend a Catholic high school, even though (I think) only one of the boys is Catholic. The school offers French immersion programmes and most of the boys, having been in French immersion since Kindergarten, will follow through with the programme until they finish high school. I like the idea because the school in question has high academic credentials. It also has mandatory uniforms for the students, so we won't have any quarrels about whether some of the things in my son's wardrobe will be appropriate to wear to school.

Where has the time gone? My son is thirteen years old. I was thirteen years old in 1958. I still feel like a kid, in many ways. How can I possibly be sixty years old? I feel like I have been living in some sort of time warp.

Someday, I will wake up as a guest in my son's home. His teenage son will have friends who will have stayed overnight. My son will say to me: "Dad, you know those delicious waffles that you used to make for me and my friends, when I was a kid? Would you make some for us this morning?"

Yes, son. I will do that. After all, what are grandparents for?

And life will go on.


  1. If I could title this comment, it would be called KEEP YOUR FORK.
    Recently I've been reading much about a great hero of mine named Winston Churchill. He had, like so many of us, a background with things of which he could be proud, and some of which he may have been not so proud. The amazing thing I learned about this man, who talked a disarmed country into fighting the greatest evil of his day, who spoke words of elegance and eminence that stirred the hearts of millions to action and who felt in the most eventful days of his life "as though he were walking with Destiny" and the whole of his life to that point had been only a preparation, is that when he became Prime Minister of Great Britain, he was 65 - eligible for retirement by American standards!
    So, to those advanced in years, who lament their "lost and squandered youth" and wish they could have made more of their lives, I say "Keep your fork: The best is yet to come. This is your finest hour....
    You've just started to live!"

  2. You should be a motivational speaker, Ted. Thanks for pumping me up.

    As a postscript to this story, when I got home from work yesterday, the boys were still all at my house. I ended up driving them all home (1 hour, 20 minutes,) and then getting a speeding ticket on the way.

    I offered to give the female officer all of the kids in payment of the fine, but she declined. Her response to my offer: "No thanks, I'm allergic."

    I guess I'm lucky she didn't treat my offer as an attempted bribe.

  3. Great Post! Great Comments!

    Catholic School, eh? LOL!! It's not the friends you'll have to worry about..'s the girls....


  4. I feel a little sad when i think that i will not be able to c the advancements of the society in future [for instance 2100]. One moment i felt like i want to be immortal!

  5. Yeah, Penny, I remember those Catholic School girls, with their little plaid skirts and knee-highs and... I think I better stop right there.

    The girls I saw at our visit to check out the school were all wearing khaki slacks and sweaters with the school logo on them. Is that the norm these days?

    Vishnu: I know what you mean. I ogten think that I wouldn like to live forever. Any curious person wonders what is over the next hill, around the next corner.