I remember when I turned 19 years old and what a boy I was, not from a lack of effort on the parts of both my parents (bless their prematurely aged hearts), and today my oldest son reached that milestone himself … and there is a world of difference between us at that age, I can tell you.
Thomas Nathaniel Moody, my son, is a man any of you would be proud to know and call friend. If you have ever read my columns, you know I call things for what they are, this isn’t a situation of a parent who sees no wrong with their kids. As a matter of fact, most of you would in all likelihood take issue with how honest I am about my sons and who they are as people. More than once I have said I could have a president and a prisoner all at the same time, and I laugh now thinking about it.
At 19 I was just a much younger version of myself today while Nathan has matured beyond my years. He may lack life experience but he more than makes up for it in patience, something I learned from HIM somewhere along the way. Thanks for that one, boy, whether most people know it or not, it has made a difference.
Over the years it has become a sort of tradition for the two of us to see a concert for his birthday (he became my best friend somewhere along the way and I don’t think he’s even aware of it). I look forward to it every summer because we share a lot of the same tastes where music is concerned, and truthfully, it wouldn’t matter what it was, he makes me laugh which is something few people are truly capable of.
His sense of humor and mine are a perfect match for one another and I feel sorry for anyone who happens to bear the brunt of both at once as we can get out of hand when picking on others. Yes, I do believe that is in our permanent records somewhere.
This year our original plan for his birthday concert fell through and I was disappointed, but we decided it was cool and he chose a different show instead. It was nothing and we both agreed easily enough, the replacement plan was going to be better any way. The turn of events which followed are short enough but proved to me the universe is indeed a fair place to grow up in, always balancing itself, especially for those who don’t happen to be in the negative as far as karma is concerned.
We hung up from the call and I pulled up details for the concert on my phone only to discover how expensive the tickets were going to be. Wow! Suddenly I was lost as to how I was going to be able to pull this one off because, to dispel what seems to be a popular myth, writers are generally poor and do it for the passion of their craft.
What to do, what to do …
Listen to music (my answer it seems for everything) was as always the involuntary reaction as I turned up the stereo in my truck, which is worth more than the truck itself, so steal the truck leave the tunes, man. I think better with music, and all I heard was someone say “Caller 9 is a winner” before I hit speed dial.
Yes, I have radio stations from across the South programmed in on speed dial … don’t judge … I was caller 9 and the universe leveled itself perfectly for my boy. It was exactly what he had asked for mere minutes earlier.
So, happy birthday, Nathan, and I know it will be because you always enjoy yourself no matter the circumstances.
I envy your youth and the opportunity to once again chase dreams larger than my heart and mind could possibly contain, but that envy is a shade in comparison to the pride I feel as I watch you wander further and further from the sidewalk and no longer holding my hand.
You’re a man in more than age and although there are times I desperately want to hear you run through my house, or jump in my lap, or have to look UP to look me in the eye. I wouldn’t trade a single second of those for the friend I have now.
Now that we have established you’re a grown man and the universe loves you, it’s me and you Wednesday night with nothing but bone rattling rock ‘n roll courtesy of Bad Company and Lynyrd Skynyrd. And while you may be a man, you’re not that old so guess what? You’re driving.
I love you.