It took my wife and I longer than most usually do to find each other (shared in “How We Met”). As a result, we are at ages 46 and 44 (respectively–no reason to let you know which one of us is the older one since carrying on about it and really even mentioning it at all would mean that the chances are highly likely that the woman is the older one so since it is my responsibility to keep that type of sensitive information unknown I won’t say anything about it either way so that you can’t possibly tell which one of us is older and the true identity of all parties is kept hidden as it very well should be in a situation like this) with two boys, the older one being 12 1/2 and the younger one being a little over 11.
Our older son, William, is built like his Uncle Brad: stocky, tall and ruggedly handsome (as awkward as it is to describe my Brother-In-Law that way). We could tell even at the ages of 2-3 that William was going to be on the tall side. So much so that all through his childhood, he’s been a head taller than any of the other kids around him. As a result, it has been his focus–nay, his quest, his life’s mission, his God-given purpose at age 12–to surpass the height of his Dad. Now, growing up, it was my brother who ended up being taller than my Dad. As we both got into high school, it was evident to all of us who the taller son was going to be. (And, as a side story, we wrestled all the time as kids [remember the story about Max?]. But when he got to being taller than I was and I could no longer pin him to the ground for Max to play with, I became uninterested in such suddenly childish things to do.) So I never experienced the heady sensation that a son being taller than his father can bring.
William asks for hugs all the time. So, last night being no exception, he asked and I gave. Only this time, something was different. It felt like I was hugging someone taller than me. Now, it must be noted here that for the last month or so, he’s been hovering at a 1/2 inch shorter than me–my height being 5’8″–and this fact noted a mere 3 weeks ago at Uncle Brad’s house of all places. So I bring him out to where his mother is in the living room and have her check us out. She begins to laugh and gasp and generally make a scene as she tells us that not only is William taller than I am, but he’s taller by a good inch and a half! Here’s what she saw:
Which means that he grew two inches in three weeks. To say he was ecstatic is an understatement. Whooping, hollering, smack talk (something about being the tallest man in the house now…I don’t know, I forget…) and other indecent behavior emanated from this 12 year-old that I now literally have to look up to. If you find this hard to believe, coming from such a sweet-demeanored boy, here’s some hard-core proof of the preposterously out-of-place and distasteful behavior that I was subjected to last night:
See what I mean? You know, you think you raise them right–respect for their elders and all that–and this is how you are rewarded. What’s a guy to do?? How do I live this down? Thankfully, I don’t want to. I couldn’t be more proud of our two boys and the mighty men of God that they are growing up to become. I must say, it does feel oddly milestoneish having one of my sons taller than me, especially knowing that the height difference and the heckling that will come with it is now only going to get worse. I say “oddly” in an effort to describe that sad feeling that comes with the significant events of a child’s life that remind you the little boy isn’t a little boy anymore. But I wouldn’t change that for anything. I love our family! The God of the Bible is the center of it. And everyone sees that. I love that about us. We’re not perfect. Just genuinely seeking to walk with God as close as possible every day of our lives. My boys see that example and the benefits that it brings, and they are far more likely to set that example for their own families one day.
Yup–choosing to walk out this life hand-in-hand with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit certainly has its advantages!