Ross turns 21 two weeks from tomorrow. I can't believe that my firstborn son is going to be a bona-fide adult in 15 days. Where have the years gone?
He's still in school and works a full-time job. He takes care of most of his personal expenses, i.e., clothes, shoes and stuff like that. But truly, his dad and I let him use his money for pleasure expenses, i.e., fishing stuff, hunting stuff, stuff for his truck, etcetera. He doesn't have any "real" financial obligations other than a truck payment.
If you know Ross at all, you know that being fashionable has never concerned him. He's like my dad that way. He likes what he likes and that usually means a comfy, light and breezy camo shirt and favorite jeans or shorts. For shoes, he's wearing the same pair of tennis shoes I bought him when he was a senior in high school. He probably cost us less in clothes and shoes than any other kid in the world. He made up for it in other ways I assure you. It's not like he gave us a break or anything.
Since this came into his life a few weeks ago, his fashion needs have changed.
Ever since he was was old enough to walk, he's loved to fish. Even before he could say the word fish, which he called ishhhh, he's been a fisherman. This boat that Jeff's brother, P-Nut, bought and lets Ross use anytime has given the word "fishing" a whole new meaning. P-Nut also has another boat that Ross and his friends use for tubing. This one is the fishing boat and he takes it out at least twice a week.
So with boating comes the need for boating apparel. Slick bottom tennis shoes just don't cut it. The popular Sperry boat shoes that Cam wears have always been a source of teasing from Ross. He was always saying I'd never wear those sissy shoes, blah, blah, blah.
Well . . . Friday afternoon Ross asks me if I'd buy him a new pair of shoes. I'm thinking that he's probably going to want some tennis shoes or boots or something like that. I told him sure, I'd foot the bill. I told him, too, that this would be the official last pair of shoes I'd buy him in his childhood. Yes, I can make everything sentimental, even new shoes. Truly, it was a touching moment. I nearly teared up at the thought.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think he'd want these.
Lo and behold, the very shoes that he's made fun of Cam for wearing were the very ones he set out to buy. He wore them to the lake yesterday and he looked like a regular yacht captain. They're well ventilated, don't slip on the deck of the boat. They are, after all, boating shoes. So after years of buying tennis shoes of strange color and style, cow boots (as he called them when he was a little boy), chore boots (the black rubber kind, even though he never did chores), and the occasional wedding/funeral shoes, my baby boy is stepping out in style in his official last childhood shoes. And I couldn't be sadder.
Would it be strange of me to bronze them? Or hang them from my rearview mirror when he's done wearing them? I still have his first baby shoes, so why not his last childhood shoes? Makes perfect sense to me. This passage from childhood into adulthood isn't going to come easy.
Till tomorrow, LLL, and have a great Sunday!