Josh [who, BTW, is the kid in the upper right picture of my blog. He’s grown since then]: Dad, can we work on the parallel parking? I really want to take my driver’s test.
Me: Sure, son. Why the sudden ambition?
J: Well, now that I’m 18, I’ll be able to drive to Wal-Mart and get cigarettes whenever I want them. Oh, and I can go to the tattoo parlor too.
Dad: Yeah, sure, I really believe that. And don’t even try the line about getting your ear pierced.
J: Well, actually, there is a girl…
Me: There usually is. Nice of you to tell me early on.
J: It’s later than you think. You just haven’t been asking the right questions. Anyhow, I would like to be able to take her out. To the airport.
Me: Oh, for a balloon ride? How romantic. I would take Mama, if she weren’t afraid of heights.
J: Well, actually, we were going to catch a flight. To Vegas. Now that I’m 18, we can do that.
Me: Hmmm, good point. If she’s a math whiz like you, you may be able to beat the blackjack tables.
J: There’s a nice wedding chapel…
Me (choking): Um, what about steady employment? That’s usually important to a girl, and her parents.
J: Well, I’ve signed up for the army. After the honeymoon, I’m off to Basic Training.
<sheets rustling, rolling over uneasily, gasping for breath>
Jane: Honey, what’s wrong? Have you been having a bad dream?
Me: Yeah, it’s about Joshua. He’s 18 now, and I’m scared.
Jane: Oh, don’t worry. He won’t do anything too crazy.
Me: Thanks for not worrying, but how can you be so sure?
Jane: He’s your son. If he is half as stodgy as you, you have nothing to fear.
Me: Good point. G’night, dear.
Jane: Good night.