Monday, April 6, 2009


It's a frightful stage and many who emerge from it surprise the dickens out of me!
by Charlie Leck

One of my daughter's childhood friends, Tasha, is on my FACEBOOK friend's list. Those of us on FACEBOOK do lots of ruminating and we boil the results of this activity down to little phrases that are like burbs.

Tasha recently burped that she'll "be shocked if she is still sane when her children pass teens."

Well, Tasha, I could tell you, as one who lived through that phase in my own children and their friends, that we mostly come out of the experience sane and grateful for that sanity.

I know I wouldn't ever go through it again and I often wonder if I'll take any vengeful delight in watching as my own children go through those years with their own kids.

One of the teenage horror stories of my parental years came back into my life yesterday. He's the son of one of my dearest and most cherished friends. I spent a lot of time around Tucker. He was an enigma wrapped in a mystery, if ever there was one. Tucker is responsible for a good deal of my gray and also for the quirky twitch I often exhibit. He was a handsome young boy and one could tell that there was a much greater than basic intelligence level hidden under his desperately wandering, flittering mind. I did not think, however, that this intelligence would ever escape unscathed.

Not, for an instant, did I ever believe that Tucker and I would survive each other and would one day shake hands as adults. Yet, there he was -- just yesterday -- in my house -- as charming and handsome as ever -- all grown up and mature and bright and delightfully verbal.

I wanted to dance the jig. Tucker more than survived those desperate years. He outright conquered them.

He came to this place where we hangout (Sheepy Hollow at Native Oaks Farm) and purchased some lamb from us. He's going to prepare it for Easter and he spoke about how he would do it as if he were a culinary artist (as well he might be). What surprised me is that he didn't want to talk much about himself. He cared more to talk about his wife and about us and our family. You might think that oughtn't surprise me, but, then, you had to know the young, self-absorbed kid I hung around with a lot so many years ago.

I couldn't have been more pleased to see this boy again -- this grown, mature man -- who I always loved but sort of gave up on, in all reality, when he was too young to give up on.

Dear, dear Tucker. I was so pleased to greet you yesterday. And, I can't wait to tell a few people how solid you are!

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