Years ago, I saw this great Jules Feiffer cartoon entitled "I'm Not Ready." It was the story of a the milestones in a guy's life-- high school graduaton, military service, marriage, parenthood, etc. At each point he declares "I'm not ready!" At the end of the cartoon, he is an old man, hiding from everyone, declaring that he wasn't coming out until he was ready.
Today, my son's mother and I went to an open-house at Jones College Prep High School. It is officially the start of the process of getting my son into a decent high school here in Chicago.
I was thinking today to the first time I picked him up, at Columbus Hospital, where he was born. I'd never held a baby that small in my life. I was shaking. I was suddenly overcome that moment with the thought that this tiny little guy was entirely my responsibility for the next 18 years.
I've written in this blog a little bit about my adventures in parenting-- his mother and I eventually split, and fought over custody. It was funny today, sitting with her calmly, discussing his options. Thankfully, things are peaceful these days.
Picking him up for the first time that cold day in March of 1994 seemed like yesterday, and seemed like a thousand years ago. And I felt about 200 years old today.
If I weren't feeling old enough already, I forgot the little over-the-counter reading glasses I've needed lately to read, and had trouble reading the information packet they handed out.
I'm not ready.