My son Brandon will be 17 years old on Wednesday, April 25. I'm proud that he is turning into a happy, healthy, and intelligent young man with a wide variety of interests and a well-adjusted and positive outlook on life and the future.
Just one thing.
Why the hell can't he still be seven??!!!
Just yesterday I was staring at "a little kid picture" of Brandon I keep on the bureau. There were those rosy-red cheeks, that long dirty brown hair, and that sweet little smile that seemed just about to say:
"Daddy, you're my hero!"
"Daddy is the fun parent!"
"My Daddy is the bravest, handsomest, most dynamic ...
Now I didn't say he ever actually said any of these things, only that the sweet little smile in the picture makes it seem like he might be just about to!
I walked the little kid picture over to Brandon and thrust it in his face.
"Don't tell me, Dad. I'm on This is Your Life with Ralph Edwards, that old TV show you're always talking about!"
"No, Brandon," I replied. "I'd like to request you do a simple thing for me."
"Okay, Dad. What is it?"
"Be HIM. The Brandon in the picture. You can do it."
"Dad, if it were possible to spontaneously become younger, I'm sure you'd have done it by now."
"No, Boomers can't. C'mon, Bran, I'm merely asking for a simple act of Age Regression on a temporary basis."
"Well, I don't know, Dad. I've got a lot of biology homework ..."
"All right, all right. I'm offering you five dollars right now to Be HIM!"
I produced a crisp five dollar bill from my wallet and crinkled it temptingly in front of his face.
"Well, that's not a lot of money for all the molecular structure transmutation I'd have to undergo, and ..."
"Okay, Brandon," I blurted out, "I'll up the ante. I'll buy you a pony!"
Dad, I haven't wanted or asked for a pony in over ten years."
"That's just it! Once you're seven, you'll want one all over again!"
I could see I was getting nowhere with my simple reasonable request, so I moved on to another, but related, subject.
"What would you like to do for your birthday, Brandon?" I asked.
"I think I'd like to have a party out back for all my friends."
"GREAT!" I exclaimed. I'll barbecue hamburgers and hot dogs, rent a moonbounce, maybe we can hire a clown, and ...."
"Dad," said Brandon, "I kind of meant just for my friends and me. Maybe you could ... umm ... go out for a while during the party?"
So! There was to be no Age Regression. No party, no moonbounce, not even a damn clown.
Know what I plan to do during Brandon's birthday party? Go to the movies to see The Lorax.
At least one of us is going to be seven.