As we did last week when my younger one came in, last night we went straight from the airport to our favorite little pizza place, where the oil swims on top of the pie and the crust crunches exactly enough but not too much. As I sat and listened to my sons talking about politics, the latest movies, and the new pope, I was amazed at the transformation. These are two intelligent, charming young men who have it all before them. I consider myself an intelligent woman, but several of the topics were quite beyond me so I sat and listened, which is something I should probably do more often anyway. Full of confidence and overflowing with the rush that knowledge brings, they had opinions on everything, and when they differed they calmly backed up their points and debated like the gentlemen they are.
Proud as I am of my Renaissance men, my eyes kept darting to the table next to us where a Mom and Dad were dealing with an impeccably dressed and absolutely adorable toddler. His chubby legs were visible above his little pale blue socks when Dad hoisted him up on one arm as they put on his navy blue double-breasted jacket with the matching hat. I don't know how we got from that place to this, and I actually tried to pay attention during the whole process, but it's still alchemy to me. I could wish to be back in that time of our life, but that wouldn't be fair to them or to me. That's not what life is about. If I were that selfish (and had the power) then they would never know the joy of having two college boys coming home for Spring Break at the same time and listening to them talking in their sleep. And I wouldn't deprive them of that joy for the world.