Thursday, December 31, 2020

A Birthday in December

You can do a lot of things in the United States before you turn 21.

You can drive. You can get married without asking your parents’ permission. You can sign contracts. You can vote. You can, if you want, leave school completely and nobody will track you down or make you come back. You can even kill people with impunity under certain conditions, as long as you are paid by the government and wearing a uniform. You can sign up to do that without asking anyone’s permission as well.

You can’t drink alcohol legally on your own, though. We’re odd that way.

But Oliver has now broken through that final barrier and is now legal to do pretty much anything you’re generally allowed to do in the US.

It is a strange thing to realize that your child is no longer a child, and really hasn’t been for some time now. Parents have long memories that way, but the present is constantly tapping on our shoulders and reminding us that it’s there and not to get too lost in the past.

It’s been quite a ride and we’re a long way from where we started, but through it all there are things that haven’t changed a bit.

They never stop being your children, not really.

And they never stop being worthwhile.

Happy birthday, Oliver.

I’m proud of you.

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