We are not supposed to envy our kids or our spouses,
for that matter. But, there are a lot of "notsupposedto's" that just aren't realistic. Spouses can be competitive
while still rooting and loving one another. As with all things kid-related, when it comes to our kids it gets more complicated.
There are many things I envy about the things my kids have in their lives, the opportunities that lie ahead, and just being
younger and less jaded than me.
But, for the most
part, my envy is just related to those things that have passed me by, that I'm too old to do or enjoy, or that didn't even
exist in one form or another during my childhood, college days, and young adulthood. However, I also am one of those "back
in my days" kind of middle-aged guys who do enjoy reflecting on the simpler pleasures and simpler times that I remember
so very well.
Nonetheless, this is going
to be a list of things that I envy about my boys, what may be ahead for them in the future, and the many firsts they're likely
and hopefully going to experience. There is no order to this list:
~~ The excitement of First Love. My older son has already had both the excitement
and the disappointment of a "first love." I adored his girlfriend and felt almost as bad as he did when they broke
up. She was the daughter I never had and she brought a lot of sunshine into our home during the year they were together. Now,
I am waiting for a similar experience with my younger son. He's quieter, more easily embarrassed by anything and everything
I do, so I don't even know if he'll tell us if/when he's having that "first love."
~~ Going to college. Again, I will get to vicariously experience
my older son's college experience first. What I envy about his just begun college experience is that he is passionate about
his choice of college and the direction he hopes to pursue - all in music. He's going to such a cool school - The Berklee
College of Music - and I envy the sure-to-be incredible times he's already having! When we visited the campus for his audition
last year and saw all they offered in the way of every toy, every form of music, dozens of practice rooms, extraordinary classes,
performance opportunities galore, and a music library out of your dreams, blew me away. Only one word sums it up: WOW!
~~ The future. It seems obvious that the speed
of emerging technologies is accelerating. I will likely miss the opportunity to go into space, to time travel, to travel a
la Star Trek in "Beam me up, Scotty" style, and flying cars, etc. What will be we don't know, but I have no doubt
much of it will be very cool.
The joy of becoming a parent. I became a dad four days after my 40th birthday so if/when I become a grandpa I will
be pretty darn old. I don't know if my boys will choose to have kids at all. I expect one or both will and my experience has
gone by so quickly, that I wish I could do it all over again - even the horrible first two years!
~~ Driving. I'm now finishing up teaching my second son how
to drive. I remember how much both he and his brother literally glowed when a friend of mine let them drive his truck on some
nearby salt flats. The joy on their faces was priceless. With each boy, I've seen both the fear and excitement, as they got
more and more confident in their driving skills. Later, as their lives progress and they get more (financially) independent,
I expect they'll get the same charge that I did upon purchasing their first car.
~~ Sex. I just realized I could pretty much use every word about "Driving"
and apply it to sex. The first time happens just once. But, there are actually many first times. The first time you hold a
girl's hand, the first kiss, and, then going around the proverbial bases of the infield. Each base seemingly herculean to
achieve and each one meriting a shout of joy and pride.
have a poor memory but I remember taking my first crush to see Peter, Paul, and Mary at The Hollywood Bowl. I was 15; she
was 16. We sat next to each other and I struggled for the entire concert to get up the strength to put my arm around her.
I did the corny stretching my arms out and yawning. I did it all and finally by their encore, I achieved this milestone. Thank
you Robin for accepting my feeble effort and giving this shy boy (at the time) a moment of unforgettable deep pleasure and
While I do envy these experiences
my boys will have, I also look forward to hearing about them and vicariously reliving them. Theirs will be different than
mine, but the feelings will be the same, I'm sure.