Tomorrow you’d be 16.
Tomorrow I’d be wondering if you were ready to pass your driving test and actually would be really scared to be driving in the car with you. But maybe not, because it never happened in the first place.
Tomorrow I’d be wondering what you were feeling about who you are and how you’re doing in life, in sports, with girls, with friends, with school. I’d be wondering all about that because you’d be quiet anyway because you’d be a 16 year old boy. But maybe not, because maybe you’d have been talkative because you were then.
Tomorrow I’d be noticing how tall you’re getting and how your voice was deepening but you’d still look a little like my big, bright blue-eyed baby boy. I wonder if your hair would still have been thick and highlighted or would it have been dark. I don’t know.
Tomorrow I’d be running around getting your favorite meal together and maybe thinking of putting together a party for your 16th with your friends because I’m never on top of these things anyway. But maybe you’d have been quiet and just wanted a home celebration and to be with your big brothers that you loved so much.
Tomorrow I’d be trying to hold back anxious thoughts of your future and whether we were preparing you enough for it. I’d be thinking of ways we needed to help you think about how to do well on your SATs and how to figure out how to pay for college. But maybe you’d have been such a good student I wouldn’t need to worry.
Tomorrow we’d all be telling stories around the table at your birthday meal of our earliest memories of you and laughing freely at the memories, with no tinges of pain.
Tomorrow your older brothers would argue politics with you and tell you that you don’t know anything yet because you’re only 16. And they’d be saying that you got so much more than they did at 16 and telling us not to trust you with the car.
Tomorrow your younger brothers would tease you about the girls you talk to (or don’t talk to) and say that you don’t know anything even though they secretly look up to you and would love to have you pat them on the back. I think you’d do that because you’d remember how it was to be the youngest for a little while.
Tomorrow your Dad would kid you and wrestle you and tell you how proud he is of you and that you’re growing into a kind, responsible, strong young man. We’d all be proud.
Tomorrow I’d make your favorite meal; I’d bake (or maybe, probably, buy) your favorite cake; give you a small gift; but mainly I’d hug you longer than you’d want me to and even give you a kiss on your beautiful cheek while you rolled your eyes. We’d all laugh and smile and get to bed just in time for the next day.
Tomorrow would be just another birthday for my beautiful Benjamin Adam.
I’ll miss you tomorrow.