Which son do I miss the most?
We have all heard it from our friends and even said it ourselves – “boy I miss my son being a little boy – do they have to grow up?” Yea, they do, fortunately or unfortunately, they all do grow up and get older. But we all miss them as little boys – no matter how old they get.
I look at pictures of Andrew when he was five or six or even ten years old. The smile. The innocence. The potential. He was always happy, smiling, and fooling around as that little boy. He was a good student – not great, but good. He was a good hockey player – not great, good – but a great teammate. He was a coach’s player – all of his hockey coaches loved him, as they all have come to his memorial games and praised him as a gracious teammate and as a student of the game. I look at the pictures of him when he was in elementary school, and he is smiling and laughing in every one of them. He very rarely cried, really never got upset over trivial crap, and always had a positive attitude. Whenever we had teacher meetings they would tell us how much of a pleasure he was in class. He didn’t always do his homework, or follow instruction – but nevertheless, he was fun to have in the class.
I really miss my little Andrew.
Then there was the high school and college Andrew. The one wearing a suit once in a while and caring about how he looked and what others thought of him. Still laughing and fun, but a little more serious as he grew up. He focused on things that he enjoyed, or that challenged him. He discovered a Rubik’s cube and studied it until he figured out how to solve it. He did not just solve it – he had to figure out how to solve it, so he could repeat it. He perfected it to the point that he was able to solve it in less than a minute. That was the focused Andrew. We would talk about life, and what he was going to do when he got older. He learned how to program – some in school but mostly on his own. He taught himself to play the electric guitar by watching YouTube videos and listening to his friends; he was too impatient to take lessons once a week. He had many friends, both a hockey group of friends, and a group from school. He took up snowboarding while in high school, and we made many trips to local mountains, as well as New England so we could all ski together – but he was by far the fastest and best amongst us, although Nicole did keep up with her big brother. Then we would all get together as a family at the end of the day and enjoy a great family dinner. Those were special times. He also learned to drive, and loved driving and loved his car. It set him free – driving with the windows open, stereo on, no shoes….I loved to drive with him just to see the relaxation and enjoyment on his expressive face.
I really do miss that Andrew as well.
Then there is the Andrew I never got to meet. And I think I might miss him the most.
I will miss Andrew starting to work and telling me about his job and what he is doing. Telling me about what he enjoys at work and what his challenges are, about the problems he is solving and the friends he is making at work. I will miss going skiing with him in the exotic places we talked about but never got to go. We wanted to go skiing in Europe or Canada one day, I think I would have liked doing that with my son. One thing I will miss of course is Andrew getting married and starting his own family. Listening to the complaints and stresses he has with his son – and reminding him of what he was like as a little boy – and smiling. Watching him mature into a man, working his way up the corporate ladder, or more likely building his own business so he could make his own decisions and be in charge.
I think I really would have liked to grow old one day, and have my son come visit me, sit down on the deck and talk about life. Hopefully he would have grown up and matured enough to actually listen to me and to take my advice. But I could only hope for that.
I really do miss him.
Yes, they have to grow up, but they leave us with many great memories along the way.