The boy who made me a father is almost 12 now. He tells me he wants to know how long it will be before he is my size and I shrug.
“I don’t know. If you grow like I did it will be another five years before you can look me in the eye and close to eight before you fill out enough to wear one of my suits.”
He nods his head at me and smiles. I smile back at him. We are wandering through the car show and enjoying a moment.
That is an Aston Martin DB5, the same model James Bond drove in Goldfinger. It doesn’t do a good job of showing off the ejector seat, machine guns or any of the other tricks that car hid inside.
Nor does it show you the smile my son gave me when he asked why I was so excited to see the car and I told him about what it was like when I was 12.
He is growing up in a different world than I did so he won’t appreciate why I can look at that car and remember how “advanced” it was and how we rode our bikes and pretended that we had all of the cool tools too.
But he knows me well enough to recognize my moods, even when disguised by a poker face and that was enough to help accentuate the moment for him. “Dad is excited, maybe I should be too.”
The Auto Show
I spend vast amounts of time trying to generate new business and to do what has to be done to keep things going here. It often translates as my walking around the world with my “business face” on and my eye searching for opportunity.
That happened at the show, but most of the time it was relegated to the background. That is because the big guy at my side kept me grounded.
He kept me from getting lost in thoughts about what I would do if I were in charge of marketing for the show or for brands. It didn’t stop me from noticing who used social media to help promote their vehicles or what companies did the best job of trying to create a relationship with the people who wandered by their booths.
We looked at the Bentley above and talked about how much it would cost to buy one. His eyes grew wide and then expanded when I explained it wasn’t the most “expensive” car at the show.
Later on we wandered over to look at a Ford Fusion hybrid and I asked him to figure out how many Fusions you could buy for the price of the Bentley.
I smiled as I watched him figure it out in his head. His math skills are really strong and the day will come where I won’t be able to help him with his homework. It is not a question of if, but when.
Are You Going To Write About This?
We stop to take more pictures and he asks if I plan on writing about our experience. I smile and nod my head. He smiles back and I ask him if he is tired.
He says no, but I see he is starting to fade. It has been a busy day, two soccer games were played earlier and it is a bit after 9 PM.
For a moment I can see hints of the baby and the toddler in his face and I remember how I used to scoop him up and carry him.
I can still carry him but he is about 85 pounds now and that gets heavy much more quickly than it used to. For a moment I wonder if he would be willing to let me do it, or if he has reached the place where he is too cool to be carried.
It is an odd juxtaposition of my feeling proud of how big he is now and a moment of sadness at the passing of the time that was.
This is good. This is ok. This is natural and expected, but I feel like the countdown is almost beginning.
In a year we’ll have a Bar Mitzvah and then life will really begin to accelerate. I don’t mind waiting a while before that happens.