Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Happy 15th birthday, Jack

Today our youngest child, Jack, turns 15.

A bit of an awkward age, that one. I once wrote a blog post in which I said the 15-year-old version of myself is really the only iteration of me I don't especially like.

Jack seems to be handling it OK, though. He's a sophomore in high school who takes honors classes, gets good grades, plays the trumpet in band, serves as a class officer, and runs on the cross country and track teams.

All very rewarding activities, and all good for the college resume.

Socially, he's coming along about as well as any 15-year-old boy generally does. He has a small group of friends who hang out together, most of whom started learning to drive a full year before Jack will. Jack was accelerated a grade in elementary school, so he's considerably younger than his classmates.

He's anxious to start driving, if a bit nervous about the prospect of it. I tell him he'll do fine, and he really will. He's smart and he's a good kid.

All parents think their kids are good kids, of course, and in most cases they're right. I like kids. Kids of all ages, really. They're fun to talk to and fascinating to watch as they make the same sort of mistakes you did when you were their age.

There's a lot to be learned from making mistakes, and we should probably let our kids make more of them. The parental urge to keep them from all disappointment and danger isn't always in their best interest.

Fortunately(?), Jack makes his share of mistakes. What he needs to do is get the hang of learning from them and not repeating them (or at least not repeating them so often). He'll get there. Lord knows I didn't have my overall act together at age 15 the way he does.

If he remains the fundamentally decent person he is nowand I have no reason to believe he won'tJack will do well in life. However the saying goes, nice guys generally don't finish last in my experience, at least not in the long run.

And he's a nice guy.

Happy birthday, Youngest Son Who Is About A Half-A-Foot Taller Than Me.

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