The rumor was that I won the meat loaf competition because I am the boss, but there is no evidence of this. Instead of bread or crackers, I used Doritos. That says all you need to know.
I will not apologize for walking around campus with an apparent swagger. At first, I promised I would not let this achievement go to my head, but seeing the look of pride in my family's eyes, I realized this was a hasty and foolish pledge.
My son paused as he was leaving the other day. You could tell he wanted to say something, but then started to leave. I knew what was on his mind, since he had told Alex, who told me, but I wasn't even sure how I would respond, I could not gauge my own feelings. But he turned back around and told me he had, just the night before, had sex for the first time.
Is that supposed to be how it works? Have children always told their parents about these intimate inaugurations? I had to confess to him I was grateful he was willing to share this with me.
'I STILL HAVEN'T TOLD MY PARENTS,' may be what I actually said.
I remember when he was five, I started taking him on this annual boating trip, where we would fish and I would introduce him to what sex is, and I thought it was awfully progressive and open-minded of me, but the honest truth is that I started then because of cowardice. It's easy to talk with a child about adult topics, when it gets uncomfortable you just distract them with video games and candy bars.
It is so difficult to know how to process this, and I am cataloguing every embarrassing cliche in the book - he's no longer a child, my baby boy is no more, this is symbolic of the passing of one generation to the next, did I do enough, will he be safe, will we be grandparents, is he having more sex than me, is it still considered a martini if you are just drinking gin straight from the bottle but eating olives, etc., etc.
These were the two great big events in my life, March of 2017.
Oh, and maybe one other. For some background, I have worked at several colleges, but I worked at one in particular for 10 years, and it was the most depressing and exhilarating time of my life. There was a convenient store nearby, and on occasion, at both my high points and low points, I would drive over there and buy some kind of alcoholic beverage. The store was (and still is) owned by a Korean family. And they were always so sweet and non-judgmental, always said hello as though they knew me. Anyway, I left that job for one 60 miles away. Fast forward a few years, I returned to the area and I now work at a different school, but not terribly far from that convenient store.
I stopped by there this week, as I have taken to driving past it on my way home. I walked inside and recognized the woman from years ago. When I checked out, she said, 'I watched you for years, and now you have gray hair!' I responded, 'Wow, I can't believe you remember me!' She said, 'Oh, of course I remember you.'
My heart is broken and repaired at once, stronger at the seams.