This weekend marks a landmark for me. My little boy, who is not so little any more, is turning ten. 10. TEN???? Where did ten years of my life go? I remember the night before he was born like it was yesterday. Now, he's in grade four, he wants an iPod touch, he has a blog and next week, it's time for us to have "the talk".
When he was born, I was teaching middle school language arts. I lived in an older house across the street from my school. We had an older, sedate, obedient Chesapeake Bay Retriever. I drove a '93 Nissan SUV and a my wife drove a brand new VW (we needed a 4-door vehicle - no stinkin' minivans for us!) "Survivor", "Maclcom in the Middle", "Dora the Explorer" and "Clifford the Big Red Dog" were brand new television programs. Our camera used film. One of my best friends was living with us. I had a second hand HP computer that survived Y2K. My wife and I still went to first run, grown-up movies, including the Academy's Best Picture, "American Beauty." The hottest music included Eminem, The Dixie Chicks and Creed (and I had free copies of their music thanks to Napster.) The year? 2000.
Over the decade, my life has changed for the better in so many ways. Now, I teach grade four, I'm the vice principal and I teach a fourth year univesity class at the local college. We live in a newer house farther from the school. We have a younger, less than obedient Chesapeake Bay Retriever. I drive an '06 Nissan truck and my wife drives a brand new Subaru (which we needed for the mildly disturbed dog. Still no minivan.) We have five different cameras, including the one that uses film. We don't watch much live television these days, but my wife is watching an episode of "Glee" on the PVR as I write this. The computer I am using is an old DELL, but I also have a MacBook from school and do plenty of communicating on my iPhone. My best friend doesn't live with us, but he lives really close. We go to first run movies as a family - the last one we all saw was "Diary of a Wimpy Kid." We get a lot of our music on iTunes and now, I really don't mind paying for that music.
The overall scope of how things have changed became obvious to me when we started planning my son's birthday party. So far, his birthday parties have been reasonably big-scale events. This year, he wanted to go somewhere overnight with a couple of his best friends. We are heading to the edge of the Rockies and staying in a hostel for his 10th birthday. He wants to go fishing, hiking and geocaching. So long, loot bags, DQ birthday cakes, banners and sparkly candles.
What really solidified my son's transition from little boy to little man is the spectre of "the talk." He is in grade four, which means that he will get his first Human Sexuality education in Health. And, since I am the male grade four teacher, I will be teaching him and all of his peers. My son is incredibly inquisitive, so I know that if I don't prep him for the content of my lesson, he will grind it to a standstill with questions. I'm not overly concerned about having this conversation. My wife and I have always been very open with our kids about everything, so this won't be too much of a stretch.
It's just that...well...I have never really thought I would be old enough to have this talk. Or be turning 40. Where on earth did ten years go?
As Rowley says in "Diary of a Wimpy Kid', ZOOOEY MAMA!