To those that are waiting, no. No kid yet.
But an interesting thing happened last night. Pete came back. I mean, he’s been in the area for a little while, settling into his new place in Sacramento. But last night was the first time I’d seen him in a long time – couple years, maybe the first time we’ve seen him since the wedding? I don’t know. But it’s been a long time.
He was one of the few people I hung out with a lot when I was young. We spent time at my house, his house, played ping-pong, played the early Sierra adventure games, went to Berkeley together to play arcade games until we both had headaches… all kinds of things. We met, I think, in sixth grade. My first memory of him was in a vocal class? I think he was singing to himself, and I thought, “What a weird kid.”
But we became good friends – I’d consider him one of my very best. And so when I think about my youth, there are a handful of people that are part of that. Some that I’m still close with, some that I’m not. For the most part, I’ve either kept in close contact with the people I still care about, but Pete’s been a skipping stone in my life for the last 15 years.
We didn’t see each other that often, but when we did, it didn’t take much to catch up, and it never felt like any time had passed. Yet, we both changed. I met Ei-Nyung, started a career in game development, got married, bought a house, and am about to have a kid. He lived in New York, became a doctor and has had all manner of grand adventures in the time since (there are other interesting tidbits, but you’d have to ask him about them, as I won’t spoil them for you here).
So last night, we hung out. And it was like nothing’s changed. Well, that’s not right – obviously, lots has changed. But somehow, something flipped in my head last night. And I know this may be weird, but seeing Pete again – it felt like a bookend to my prolonged adolescence. My fear of the future disappeared. Fears about fatherhood, the changes that are coming in Ei-Nyung and my life, the changes that we’re all going to go through in the *next* 15 years… it became a sort of excitement and joy. And no, I can’t explain it.
But I look forward to meeting my son. I look forward to seeing him learn, and grow, and to watch him form the kinds of friendships that last a lifetime. I look forward to how Ei-Nyung and my relationship will change – one of the things that’s been good about our relationship is how we handle change, and growth – I fear the sleepless nights, and the stress – the inevitable arguments and conflict – but it’s *progress*. Towards a family – our family – surrounded by friends that I love deeply – towards the future, both in work, which has been incredible, and in life.
The last 15 years, for their little stresses and various challenges have been utterly spectacular. May the next 15 be as good.