My oldest boy, The Big One, Junior (even though he’s the fourth), Eddie my little tiny baby monkey boy, is on spring break from ISU. I knew he was coming but his plan was to go with like a dozen hometown friends to U of I, who isn’t yet on spring break, to basically crash on floors and party for a few days with other hometown friends. Just like we did back in the day. Only they weren’t leaving until today and the kids are with their mom and my daughter is having a big sleepover so he asked if I wanted to hang out. So he had a quiet kidless place to sleep. But also so we could hang out. He’s good like that.
We spent the start of our night idly watching a show we could talk through and he told me about college life whist we sipped Trulys and drinks of that nature. I’m not sure I can see my middle guy and I ever in this setting. Maybe. Anyways, he’s not technically of drinking age but he went away to school and joined a frat and is open with me, always has been, about that life. That’s the relationship we have always had. He was worried because he knew my thoughts on frats, mostly as they stereotypically pertain to girls as portrayed in media cases. We had talks. I trust him.
For the Big One’s first 4 years it was basically just us. We’ve been to probably 15 concerts together. Mostly, though, I’ve never had to worry about trusting him. I don’t worry about him. I mean, I do in the sense that the world is scary and strange and ugly and mean. The first dark, pit of my stomach, parenting memory I have is centered on him. He was spending the night at his aunt’s house, probably solo for the first time, so his mom and I could pretend to be young for a minute. And his cousins are great kids, but they were kids. So when he got ready for bed, my little guy, at probably 6 or 7 years old, stripped down to his underwear and brushed his teeth. Like we do. I could very clearly envision him striding out of that bathroom, all cheeky smiles ready for maybe some fun sleepover shenanigans. And I guess what happened was, those other boys saw him emerge in his whitey tighties, ready for bed, and they laughed at him. Innocence just obliterated. He was beside himself with embarrassment. I still get all knotted up in the worst way just remembering it. Sigh.
And now he’s out making his life what it will be. Myself and another buddy were the first to have a kid. We were the guinea pigs. When they say it goes by so fast? It’s an absolute blink. But I stole a night. From his buddies. From his long term, serious girlfriend. We watched the Bulls game and he told me stories that were probably somewhat censored for parental consumption, but not too much I don’t think. I know many divorced parents and I’m not sure how many I know that don’t really do much on non-kid weekends, but that’s me. I just sort of wait for them to be over these days. But last night was definitely the best night of a non-kid weekend I’ve had in months.
Since last year’s slicing my oldest son graduated. We had a party. My parents came in. It was bittersweet in lots of ways. I made this video to play at the thing. I’m going to put it in this slice. If you’re reading this you obviously don’t have to watch it. I recently read a slice where the writer talked about doing it each year and being happy to have years’ worth of Marches forever kept for posterity in her blog. So, while I am slicing because I enjoy the challenge, I now realize one day I may want to look back on my Marches. And in this post, I’d like to be able to watch my video at the end. I haven’t seen it since his party, and this will give me an excuse when I randomly stumble on this blog post years from now.