What is so painful I think is to see myself in him on so many different levels. It is absolutely shocking to watch him shake hands and mingle with his friends, all the while reaching for manhood. A man that in my eyes is still a small boy that used to collect dinosaurs. I have to excuse myself and catch my breath as it feels like someone pulling my guts out a great deal of the time.
Lately I've had a lot of fear dealing with him growing up. And within this fear is an uncertainty of direction as he travels with the talents God has given him. Over drinks with a friend in Dallas, I spoke of this fear as it deals with the road traveled by musical people. He is seriously hitting this road with the maturity level of a 25 year old kid and not a seventeen year old boy working tirelessly on his voice as well as piano in his down time. Yes...he considers that down time.
My fear is always the same. How will he make a living doing this? What kind of job will he land? A world so foreign to me regardless of the musicians that I've had the pleasure of hanging around with for so many years. I took the road most traveled which is a career, the corporate life. Well...sort of.
When explaining all of this to my friend, he softly said, "I've heard him sing and he's great. Do you really think Stevie Ray Vaughan ever worried about where his next meal was going to come from?"
Which led me to a verse from Matthew which reads, "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"
A verse we all struggle with as it's just plain hard to swallow. It's why we have savings accounts but I guess that's down right laughable as most folks have lost a great deal or all of their retirement due to the recession. These days, the market is like going to Vegas.
Aside from all of that, I'm still trying to get my head around leaving him at a college dorm room. What the hell will that be like? He sleeps, wakes up, feeds himself and then goes to class? Are you kidding me? I couldn't even find my Spanish class and still have nightmares about it. "Señor Holt, how nice of you to finally join us." It's the definition of an anxiety attack except I'm not naked with socks on like most classroom dreams I have.
Standing over six feet tall now, he towers over us all and I still have no idea if he's a boy or a man. I can only hope that the man he is becoming will never lose the little boy that I used to throw in the air. The little boy that used to sing in the back seat of my car. The little boy that threw a baseball through my den window...twice. The little boy who will soon leave me to create a life for himself and become a man.
It is with this thought I leave you a message from the heart. I have met many a man who lost the little boy that lived within them. Life is not easy as I've seen a great deal of hardships the older I've become but I've tried to keep that little boy alive as best I can. He shows up around Halloween to toilet paper a house or a hot summer night to play harmonica with a bunch of brothers in the hood. He is what makes me who I am and I can only hope and pray that my son will know this little boy for himself. The little boy that makes life worth living.
The great man is he that does not lose his child's heart.
Here's to the anxious and worried parent. God be with us all.