It was a busy Saturday in May. First there was a trip to the community center where the younger boy had SAT prep. There was some question about how he was going to get back afterwards, but as always the specter of a long walk home ensured that he would work it out somehow.
Once this was done though, the main event was on: a road trip to the North Country of New York and the bustling metropolis that is Potsdam. A trip to retrieve our older boy from college. Our boy who, while he still holds the title of First Born, now also holds the title of College Student. Yow.
And how did this happen? How is it possible that our boy is in college when it seems like only five minutes ago that he was dragging a wet diaper around the house while in pursuit of Scrunchy the Shih Tzu, a dog that was not only faster than the boy, but quite a bit more clever? How is it possible that our boy is in college when both his mother and I feel no older or wiser than the day we got married?
Or, more to the point, how is it possible that his mother and I have been taken by surprise by events we saw speeding down the track as quickly and inevitably as trainload of tired metaphors about life? Well I’ll tell you. Because I’m coming full circle.
Full circle means a lot of things. For the younger boy it means car trips to SAT prep instead of playdates. For the older boy it means trips to college instead of SAT prep. It means watching the boys climb into a tuxedo for prom instead of for ring-bearing duties at a wedding. It means talking about why Stravinsky was a badass KGB-baiting composer instead of why the Under the Sea song is the best song ever.
Mostly though, coming full circle means that not only are both the boys living the lives of near-independence, but that those lives mirror what my own life used to be like. Thier lives are full of girls and parties and road trips and all the things that make being an adult great.
So, going forward I’m obviously going to have to start preparing to be a different kind of father. The kind of father who’s not constantly surprised to find that my boys are nearly grown. The kind of stay-at-home-dad who’s coming full circle.