It used to be so easy. We’d watch Diego together and race Lightening McQueen and Mater down the hallway floor. I’d sing you to sleep at night, after you told me all about your day, as if I wasn’t there for most of it. We had a sweet connection. I knew you better than anyone.
Now, you talk all the time when we’re together, but I rarely understand what you’re saying. It’s all Viner quotes and one liners from YouTube gamer personalities I have never heard of. You have this larger than life personality. People love being around you. I love being around you. But I’m afraid I’m losing you more and more each day as your interests and passions grow and I haven’t kept up with them.
With your sister, it’s different. We love the same shows and songs and books. We have shared experiences of junior high drama to bond over. With your brother, it’s all still just hugs and fart jokes. He’s my little buddy and maybe always will be no matter how old he gets.
You play sports, but you don’t really care to talk about them. You read books, but only at school and unless it’s Percy Jackson, you are rarely inspired to share. You sing. But never for me. You have managed to love the one type of music I have a hard time listening to for extended periods of time. You love to write, but I’m afraid our genres of choice are pretty far apart there too. We have the internet in common, and the intense love of our dog, but I must confess I haven’t taken your love of video making or pets all that seriously before now.
You are much more complicated than your siblings. I shouldn’t be surprised, actually. You’ve always made me work a little harder to get inside your head. You’re my quiet anchor; independent since birth and always on top of your game. I haven’t checked a homework assignment since the first grade and yet you continuously bring home straight A’s. You make your own decisions, chart your own path and stand tall through it all with little assistance needed from anyone.
I am so proud of you. So. Proud. And yet, I need to start working harder to know you because I can practically see you walking away. I can’t use the independent streak as an excuse not to reach out and ask questions. I can’t focus on the squeaky wheels and just assume you’re always fine. I should know better than that. I’m sorry.
From this day forward I promise to bother you more. I promise to really listen when you speak and maybe even do a little more googling so I can better understand what you say. I pledge to play more Minecraft and Zelda. I’ll subscribe to your YouTube channel. I can’t promise I’ll watch all the videos, but I’ll listen to your freaky dubstep intro every time.
I’m so proud of you, son. I always have been. Going forward, I promise to know more about exactly why.