My son turned 14 today. And he started 9th grade a few weeks ago. He is always the youngest in his class, but has always been ready for school. For the first day, we have do a photo on the front steps of our house. Although, as I went back through the years, not only did I get sentimental looking at how teensy he was compared to the young man who is now almost as tall as me - I realized that we didn't do his first day of school photos on the stairs every single year like I always thought we did. Funny how your mind plays tricks on you. [envira-gallery id="13804"] Which is one of the reasons I am "donating" a post on my kid's birthday for one of my favorite free services, Signup.com (formerly VolunteerSpot). I have worked with these guys as a designer, and used their site both as an organizer and a volunteer and I love how they help me stay on track.
About 13 years ago, this guy came into my company for an interview. He was a programmer, and clearly very talented. At the time, I thought he was all-business and all about the code. Totally perfect for the job, so we hired him. James just happened to have muscular dystrophy and be in a wheelchair. Turned out we hired one of the funniest people I have ever met and someone who has become our friend for life. We now know his whole family and we still see him regularly even though I left the company I co-founded over five years ago. When the Muscular Dystrophy Association asked me if I knew anyone who lives their life limitlessly that I could honor with a post, of course, I thought of James.
Last week, we celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. Many people say this, but it feels like just yesterday *and* forever ago - all at the same time. We married here in Denver, a little while after we moved and it's fun to think about how young and optimistic we were then. We may be more cynical and jaded now, but in many ways, we still work on our marriage just as hard as day one. Some things get easier over the years, some harder. For example - we literally have talked about everything. What is there left to say after all this time? Well, for one, we recently chatted about how we make our marriage work so I could write one of these condescending posts about it. Look... We know every marriage is different. We've seen some couples split for reasons I could not explain, and people stay together for no good one. No judgements here, just some suggestions from two goofballs who still lean on each other as heavily now as they did two decades ago.
You just have to take a trip down memory lane when your son becomes a teenager.
This is probably going to sound very self-pitying and whiny, but trust me, I am grateful for my life. It's just that things have shifted so greatly over the last few years, it's hard not to be reflective. Given our work and hobbies, not to mention the kid, we've had friendships that cross into several different groups of people. Primarily, for me, that has meant mom bloggers, musicians, tech/social media peeps and PTA parents. Our connections within those groups swelled so much that they crossed over within each other and life was pretty frenetic. Almost every single night there was one, two, three or more possibilities for going out in any one, two or more of these areas. Foursquare was roaring because you could check in, and regularly find out a friend was not only nearby, but often times was in the same bar. If I went to see a local band, I could expect to know many people there. Heck, we used to run into people, all the time, all over.