Last night was HBO's screening of "The Kids Grow Up," which will begin airing on Father's Day on HBO2. If you're a subscriber (as I am, because I like my TV with no ads and a whole lotta cussing), I hope you'll get the chance to tune in and see it. As he voiceovers early on in the film, parents have countless resources for welcoming a child into our lives, but nothing prepares us for the emotional impact of sending them off to buy their own goddamn groceries.
I have a singular talent for looking at stormclouds on the faraway horizon and lamenting how shitty it will be when they finally arrive. I confronted this when R turned 9--exactly halfway to his being able to vote. And possibly vote Republican. At that point, it would have surprised no one if I had gotten a little verklempt that half of my son's youth was over. (And let's face it: With his teens ahead, we've got the crappier half to look forward to.) Instead, I took it all in surprising stride, in part because this film helps me remember to enjoy the present and embrace change when it comes.
I had a great time, and a great deal of shrimp and beer. I met the National Fatherhood Institute's Roland Warren, who is engaging and eloquent and whose vigor might make you think he is in his mid-30s. And then you learn he has a 28-year-old son, and you think, "I'll have what he's having."
Thanks to HBO for having us in, and to all the dads who came out, like Rufus and Marlon and Lance. And a big cyber-brohug to Doug, who took Catherine and me to the Algonquin Hotel bar, so we could sit at our little Round Table and wonder if Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley ever sat in that exact spot, over $20 cocktails, and engaged in a sardonically intellectual, highly nuanced discussion of Congressional genitalia.