My oldest grandchild officially drops the "child" appellation today on the occasion of his eighteenth birthday. Boone Macy is a man now, able to vote, fight for his country, assume debt, marry without anyone's permission, and make all manner of decisions traditionally reserved for grown-ups. Today is literally the first day of his adult life.
Boone is my only grandchild who was born in the previous millennium. He arrived at the Ozark Medical Center in West Plains, Missouri, in 1999 about an hour-and-a-half after that year's Cinco de Mayo stumbled off into history. I was doing a college internship in Waynesville, Missouri, a little more than a hundred miles away, when his maternal grandmother called to awaken me with the news. The next day I drove to West Plains to meet the future of the Macy family.
Boone is a budding young musician. Several years ago I bought him an acoustic guitar, and a few years later when he was ready to learn to play it, he self-taught by watching YouTube videos. Boone is now a skilled guitarist, and he can sing as well. He has even been paid to perform at a coffee house in the city where he goes to school.
I am proud of Boone. He has is a senior in high school and will graduate in twelve days - and then it's off to college, an experience that will rock his young world and give him direction for the rest of his life.
Keep your head on straight, Boone, and step boldly into the future. The world is yours - go get it!