Stolen Identity

February 4, 2001

Some moments in life you remember because they are tragic, some because of a thrill, and still others are permeated with joy.

This evening as I write I remember another moment, one that might best be described as one reflecting the tapestry of life, an image that represents that which was, and that which is yet to be.

I write today of a turning point, an instant in time when I looked out from my seat in the bleachers and was focused on the boy in the band, over there on the left, way in the back, with his hand on the drum.

He wore a band uniform that evening, and it looked like a tux from a distance. In that moment I knew, I saw, I sensed and I felt, that the boy had become a man.

That moment took place a little over a year ago, at the Christmas concert in the middle school. Tonight as I picked him up from a High School dance, I smiled at the man in my clothes. He smiled back.

"Saw you come in."

"Didn't see you, I was just looking around."

I had been standing there with his date's father, but she had come and chased him out of the gym. I thought that was kind of sad, for the boy would not chase me out.

We did a sort of high five handshake when he walked up.

He knew what I was thinking.

Earlier in the fall we had somewhat of a similar discussion.

"Hey dad, Can I wear your tux to the dance?"

"Sure - if it will fit you, but I don't know, maybe it will. Pants might be a bit long, maybe too loose as well.

He was after all, only 14 years old.

Walking out into the yard I was slightly taken back.


My tux, my shoes, my tie, my shirt - BOY - what are you doing in my clothes?

Tonight it was the same thing. A suit saved from my pre-swimming - weight lifting days - fit him like a glove. Ok, not quite like a glove, but close enough. He's 6 foot, probably approaching 6 - 1 and weighs 172lbs.

The pants are still just a tad long, but not for long.

The boy has become a man.

And there he was tonight - smiling because he knew as I looked him over, my suit, my shirt, tie and shoes, that I was proud of him.

It's scary I tell you. Just scary, to see a smaller version of yourself wandering around on the dance floor.

I think I am going to have an identity crisis. Well, maybe not, for if you look closely, you might be able to tell us apart.

First of all, he is a tad younger, and then there is the thing with the hair. You see, his hockey team has been just terrific this year, and they have advanced their way into the playoffs.

So what do you do if your team is blowing by all the rest?

You go get your hair done.

Don't you?

Blonds, almost all of them blonds.

Blonds with bushy black eyebrows, curly haired blonds, but mostly crew cut blonds.

Tomorrow they play again, and if they win, one more game a week from Sunday. The winner of the Sunday Feb 11 game, goes on to the state finals.

I told him if they made states, I would do my hair to match.

Hey, It's only hair.

But I'm not going to get a crew cut.