I was cleaning out my closet today. I’m embarrassed to say I think it’s the first time in 20 years. Yes, there hung 20 years worth of sweaters and skirts, jeans and t-shirts, handbags and shoes. Well, no. Not shoes. I’m not big on shoes. Not that big, anyway. So there was probably only about 3 or 4 years worth of shoes. Still. Ridiculous. I filled 13 giant, green, leaf bags that the Purple Heart has graciously agreed to rid me of, and 5 other bags that will join the rest of my garbage out on the curb come trash day.
There, hanging from a bar at the back of the closet, I found a belt. I knew it wasn’t mine, and never was I might add, because it was about 18 inches long. I held it in my hand and smiled, thinking, “This belongs to my little boy?”
Thing is, he’s not so little anymore, but do you ever stop thinking of your child as anything other than ‘your baby’? I’m starting to think not.
But, he’s not. My baby that is. He’s all grown up and drives a car and has a beautiful girlfriend and a job and he’s – ah – all grown up.
And, now, he looks more like his dad than ever.
He’s a kidder, like his dad. Grows a beard, like his dad. Has a kind heart, which he wouldn’t admit to having, like his dad.
It’s been 15 years since dad passed away. We’ve kept him in our hearts, and we think of him all the time. It doesn’t seem that long. Maybe that’s because I can feel him nearby. Does that sound creepy? I hope not, because it’s true. At night, when I let the dogs out, I find the brightest star in the sky, smile and say “Did you see our son today? He’s the best, is he not? We done good.” Every day now, I look at my boy, and I see his dad. I think how proud he would be. I look at my son and think he’s not my baby anymore. He’s a grown man, handsome, smart, kind, and funny. Just like his dad.