Tis the season, and recently in the mail I got a graduation announcement. The inside envelope was addressed to "Godmother Aunt Boni", which made it extra special to me. My baby brudder's oldest son is graduating from high school. I found myself wondering how this could be. It seems like such a short time ago I held him, while he was dressed in a little white tuxedo, at his parent's wedding.
Enclosed in the envelope, along with an invitation to his graduation party, were four pictures of my nephew. I pick them up frequently and look at them in amazement. When did he become a man? I've only been in Montana for 11 months, when did this phenomenon happen? He wasn't a man when I moved away, he was just a boy.
The song "Turn Around" came to mind, and I have been singing it ever since. I know the lyrics speak of a young girl becoming a woman, and then a mother. But, with a few substitutions, they are appropriate to my feeling towards my nephew. Seems each time he, or I, turned around he was two, then four, then a young man.
My nephew chose to graduate a year early. And through some, perhaps innocent-enough-at-the-time choices, he chose to become a man early too. My nephew has had a "big" year, for this year at the young age of 17, he became a father. The mother, a young girl/woman, is only 16. Their baby, a girl, by all generations of Grandparent's accounts is a bundle of joy. I have seen pictures of her, she is a beautiful baby. Spittin' image of my nephew, except with dark hair and eyes.
Soon my nephew will be moving to Minnesota, where his girlfriend and their daughter live. He will be getting a job, and.... Do 17 year olds plan that far in advance for their future? I shrug and say, "I don't know." I can only hope they have their eyes wide open for what the world will present to them, and long enough legs to jump the hurdles. No need to comment on the challenges they will face, I have thought of them all already. I hope they have too.
Turn around and you're a young man with a babe of your own.