What I Love About My Boy

Dear Michael,

I wish I could say I love absolutely everything about you, but it’s almost everything, and that’s good enough.

I love how you made me a father for the first time, and how beautiful you looked as a baby, and then as a boy, and now as a man, all your features perfect.

I love how you played that scene in the play about Iraq where you’re angry at your father, how true it felt, maybe because little or no acting was involved after all.

I loved how you made your favorite move to the basket, dribbling straight at me, then going right and flinging up a shot.

I love how you never spoke ill of any of your friends, neither Gio nor John nor Lacey nor Roman nor Kevin nor Mike, even though you probably could have; and the same went for your girlfriends, too, even though you must certainly should have.

I love how much joy you gave Grandma Nettie (and she you), and how much you heard from her, how many words you must have picked up, because the woman never, ever, stopped talking.

I love how you looked in your bar mitzvah suit, almost like Tom Hanks at the end of “Big,” even though the suit fit you just fine.

And how you write, how well you shape your ideas in your movie reviews, your essays, your screenplay, your birthday poem for Mom.

And how strong you are, doing all those pushups – was your record an unbelievable 183? – and how fast, finally outsprinting me with those long, loping, slashing strides at age 17 or 18, leaving me in the dust.

P.S. – Part 2 will appear tomorrow.

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