The first thing the obstetrician said when my son was born was, "We have a scrawny boy!" Today the no-longer-scrawny boy turned 18 and I promised myself I wouldn't get all maudlin about it or wail that "all my babies have grown up!" So I won't mention it. Instead, I'll share a little anecdote that has taken on special importance in our household:
Last winter one of my son's classmates turned 18 and about a week later her mother noticed that she was getting significantly darker. When pressed for an explanation, the daughter admitted that she'd been visiting the local tanning booth.
"How many times have you gone?"
"Every day," said the daughter.
"But you know you're not allowed to go to the tanning booth!"
"I can do whatever I want now," said the daughter with a big grin. "I'm 18!"
I don't know where the conversation went from there, but I imagine that it started with "Listen here, missy, as long as you live in this house" and touched on "if all your friends jumped off a cliff" and "do you have any idea what I went through to bring you into this world?"
This morning at breakfast I asked my newly-minted 18-year-old whether he plans to hit the tanning booth today but he just grunted and said, "I've got to go to work." Later he and his sister will go out to dinner with some friends and then go to the new Bourne movie. There will be no party and no birthday cake and no little hats or balloons. That's what happens when all your babies grow up.
Hey, since I don't have to bake a birthday cake, maybe I'll go to the tanning booth! After all, now that both of my kids are adults, I can do whatever I want!