I can't help it, he's really amazing.
Sometimes I wish I didn't care soooo much. Yeah, I know that sounds strange. I just mean that it feels like it would be easier if I could put some distance between my heart and his. But I can't, and I won't. And even if I could, I wouldn't, because it's not about me at all - it's about him.
Love is so funny that way.
The more I love him truly, completely, and unconditionally - the more vulnerable I am to be hurt. And oh, ouch, wow, sheesh, yikes, hj&^&9(*(* it can REALLY hurt.
But so what? I don't mean to diminish the hurt, because when I'm in it I'm wallowing like a stuck pig. (Am I turning country? I just said, "A Stuck Pig" bubba! ut - oh...)
But then you forgive, and move forward. And I think to myself, 'be cautious, this could happen again' (if I was smart I would say, 'this WILL happen again!'); but I just can't resist throwing caution to the wind and loving with reckless abandon!!
I marvel at the way this child is growing right before my very eyes. He's sensitive, smart, clever, witty, charming, personable, engaging, honorable, respectable, he loves his mother, and he loves the Lord.
He's my son, and I'm proud to be his step-dad. We don't concern ourselves with steps, as they lead us away from one another, so I'm just proud to be his dad.
Tonight we went to the Milwaukee Bucks basketball game. We go, a lot. We are rabid fans. It was the preseason opener, and it's a 2 hour drive (1 way) from our home. After school I asked him if he was interested, and he lit up like a Christmas tree. So we went, and had a blast. And incredibly, right in front of me - seemingly overnight, this boy has become a young man. We now (literally) see eye-to-eye. He is 15, and I know time is slipping through my fingers faster than I can hold it.
Our relationship is evolving. Our dialogue is more mature. I listen more, and talk less. He shares, and my opinion comes more by request these days than unsolicited. And as we sit court side (our seats got upgraded for free!), he leans in to me and says, "Dad, this is great. Thank you so much for bringing me!" I look at him and think, 'there's no where else I'd rather be than here, with you, now..'
I tell him, "Son, thank you for coming. You're really fun, and I love doing this with you. I love you." We smile at each other and start cheering for our team.
And I realize, these are the days. These are the times. These are the memories we will hold on to for a lifetime. These are the stories the other kids, and grand kids will one day hear.
This is it.
I love this kid.