The point is, our birthdays are 12 days apart every year. More importantly, they're 36 years and 12 days apart over the true span of time and longevity. Last November, I turned 51. Twelve days later, my son turned 15.
He and I are going in opposite directions, in a sense, but the neat thing is the path he's on is a trail I've already treaded before, so he has me to guide him along the way, at least to some extent.
Of course he wants to be the big explorer, the trailblazer, thinking in some goofy way that no one has ever set foot where he's setting foot. But of course he has to feel that way, because it's his adventure, not mine.
Not that I'm not flying along with him and landing on a branch in the tree he's passing by and badgering him about this or that...he seems to accept that I'm going to do that and he listens, if only for a bit...
His 16th birthday will mean a lot of things to him: he can get a vehicle drivers' learners' permit, for one, so he will want to use my car (Yes, I'm cringing). He will want me to take him out driving.
My daughter's 16th birthday wasn't nearly so stressful to me. I don't know...do girls have hormones? They certainly have more common sense at that age. Anyway, I think I've gotten off the topic.
I think my point is, no matter if you're 15 or 51, you're going through some passage into something else. We always are. For my son, it's a major transformation into adulthood he's undertaking.
For me or anyone else my age, especially if they're single, it's about what do I do now and who am I going to be now?
So in a sense, my son and I are going through the same things, but in some quirky reverse polarity time machine thingy.
For me, it's like a been-there, done-that, don't-make-the-same-mistake sort of thing. It's partly that I know what I like and it's hard to break the mould and reinvent. It's tinkering, not building from scratch.
For him, it's all ABOUT trying this on and shedding it, then trying something else.
He doesn't know what the mistakes are until he makes them. And as much as I'd like to prevent him from making those mistakes, I can't. Or at least anything I say probably will fall on deaf ears.
And that's OK.