Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Manchild

I opened my sons door this morning and looked at him sleeping as I have done many times in his 23 years of life. He doesn’t look all that comfortable these days in a single bed. Six foot three of long arms and legs lying akimbo beneath a single doona, hair tousled as it has always been. Always my son, always my child, no matter how old he becomes.

He is in the army now, studying to be an officer, and there is a real likelihood next year that he will be posted to any of the several war zones that our men and women are serving in. Is it wrong to say that I fear that? Should a father willingly let his children go at some time? Of course I will do so, telling him that I am proud and not letting on that the thought of it shakes me to my boots now and then when I let it.

There is a rush of years and events do occur in the blink of an eye so that the face that peers back from the mirror each morning seems more like that of an old man than of myself. Sometimes. At other times it is the same smile I see in photographs of myself as a child and the faces of my children are still those they have always been.

Maybe this sometimes maudlin feeling is a sign that the approach of my 50th birthday is getting to me more than I ever thought it would. But milestone birthdays are like that – there is no logical reason to think that a great change will occur from one day to the next but it’s hard to escape that feeling sometimes.

5 comments:

Epimenides said...

I understand your feelings loz! Even my mom treats my like a six year old sometimes. Though I'm not a parent, I guess parents will always see their children as children!

Rhea said...

I think parents will always want to protect their children. I think that's natural.

Josie Two Shoes said...

Because my son spent his high school years with his dad, the process for me wasn't so gradual. When I look at his pictures now, or finally get to see him, it's always a shock to my system.. is this my little boy, the one I remember from so long ago? The personality is still in there, but the package is much different. He towers over his mama now. And yes, it's scary as hell when they're sent off to war. I didn't sleep well 'til my son was back home. I hate wars... they kill children, both ours and theirs.

Sadly, I have the same feeling when I look in the mirror... who is that stranger? I don't feel that old! Fifty is a milestone, but it sure isn't the finish, you'll get thru it, and realize there is some forms of freedom in being a bit older. Aging is a natural part of our life cycle, those who fight it intensely, just waste it.

HollyGL said...

Oh, Loz, I can't imagine how you must be feeling about your son being stationed next year. As far as your 50th, I think the coming years are going to be filled with a great deal of healing and growth for you that you needed to pass that milestone to fully embrace.

Micki said...

I do the same - just look at my son. Sometimes in complete wonder that my little baby grew into this almost man. He is fifteen now, not grown and not facing the challenges just yet that your son is. I do already worry and wonder if I have prepared him well enough. I know you are proud of your young man and I pray that he is kept safe for you.