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.