Well- it just isn't!! I must be dreaming. Because you couldn't possibly be eighteen years old! 36 hours of labor- ending in a c-section. (OR rather beginning with a c-section.)
I haven't taught you how to make marinara sauce yet-(wait a sec- that's not a good idea.) When you were little, I remember telling you to "SLOW DOWN!" You must have thought I meant not to run so fast. Actually, Nick, I was suggesting that you not GROW so fast.
Do all kids grow this fast? I mean... seasoned parents told me their kids did. But that was THEIR kids, not mine. (Hey, these were the same seasoned parents that warned me, "Before you know it, they won't want to be seen with you." What? That's not true- IS IT?- Nick? - Nick? Are you there? Where'd he go?)
Hmmm. I guess you didn't listen to my pleas to 'slow down.' Because here you are, Nicholas Teague Coyle, eighteen, registered with selective services, going on a pre-senior road trip with some buddies, working on a feature length film for a school project, and able to vote in 08.
And yet you have always been wise beyond your years. You were the one that at the age of 4 looked at my tummy and pointed, "There's a baby in there... and it's a girl!" And then 8 months later before Annie's birth you comforted me, "Don't worry, she's going to be able to get through the hallway, mommy." And she did.
I remember the first summer your voice changed into that of a man's. I was upstairs in my room and suddenly I heard Annie downstairs talking to a stranger. I ran down... only to see you, a cute little twelve-year old with eyes as dark as a couple of antique coins, sitting next to his sister on the couch discussing the latest Harry Potter book. No squeaking, faltering voice- you had caught a summer cold, your voice dove down to your toes... and it never came back up.
You've been my contant drip line of humor crossed with a bit of mad scientist. When you were 13, I remember instructing you to put the chopped celery into the soup at 5:30 p.m.- when 5:30 came along- you couldn't remember what you were suppose to do with the celery. So... you ate it. I can almost imagine the mind-talk on that one.
What a stunning man you are becoming! But there's work left to do- for example: dressing-up means more than clean shorts and a Hawaiian shirt, napkins are folded with the point facing left, and generally people bring their dirty dishes down from their room more than once a month.
I forgot to say, those seasoned parents also said... "you're a parent forever..." Now there's some advice I can live with.