How to postpone procrastination |

How to postpone procrastination

If only I had more time.I was prepared and present at his conception, his birth, and changed one of his very first diapers (I’m pretty sure a nurse did numero uno), but I was not prepared for him to leave so soon.I remember the first time he smiled in my general direction. (His mother said it was at her, but being the sympathetic husband to the knife-wielding possibilities of a Puerto Rican with post-partum depression, I had smiled and kept the truth to myself.) I also remember the first time he stood and fell, walked and fell, careened into a closed screen door, and had his first airborne brush with real danger on a set of flimsy stairs behind Safeway in West Vail.But I did not think he would fly the nest so quickly.As an infant, he went to work with me almost every day, sitting in his portable crib on the floor of PIC-A-FLIC, making cute noises right on cue, charming customers into renting more than one flick by his mere existence. The kid was a veritable gold mine for video rentals, except of course during those moments in the store when he produced his own version of “nuggets,” causing some customers to actually leave due to the adorable aroma.Before I knew it he was at the old Learning Tree in Vail, and in the blink of an eye in the first grade at Red Sandstone, followed by Edwards Elementary, Berry Creek Middle, and finally Battle Mountain.Now he is thousands of miles away at film school in Florida.Where’s the infant who would open his mouth wider and wider as the airplane of plum pudding zoomed its way closer and closer; the toddler I cuddled alongside during his first experience with the thick flakes of an October snowfall? Whatever happened to that little boy that jumped into my arms each night before bed, asking me to read a story or tell him why “today was such a good day!” Or the kid who giggled each time the “Master Claw” would come out of nowhere to jiggle his belly?I miss him.So many folks have been telling me (warning, perhaps) over the last year about how they had dealt with the situation. Some had not yet actually experienced the loss, but were convinced their advice was top-notch anyway and that I should heed their words.Some people need to be slapped.Those who survived the ordeal with their first-born were truly helpful, but only to a moderate point. It is amazingly difficult to accurately describe the feeling of loss when a child leaves the house and moves away to start a life of their own. Yes, all of our parents endured, obviously, but that knowledge does not make me feel any better today.If I only had more time.I have spent most of the summer traveling and attempting to understand the physics behind swinging a metal shaft quickly towards a chunk of compressed synthetic rubber and having it not go straight to right field. He has been hanging out, messing around with his friends, seeing movies, going camping, going to the gym, etc.Why didn’t I simply demand that we spend more time together? I could have said, “Son, in a few weeks you will be moving away from home. Chances are very high that you will never live in this house again except on holidays, so let’s spend as much time together as possible, celebrating this rite of passage to your new life outside of Happy Valley. I know you don’t realize it now, but you’re going to miss us just as much as we’re going to miss you. By the way, I love you.”OK, maybe that would have seemed contrived or desperate, but what if it’s what he secretly wanted as well? What if he had been wondering why I hadn’t asked him to do more things together? Could I have missed my golden opportunity? Dammit, why did I wait until now to write down all of this sappy, yet incredibly sincere, babble?But hey, now that I think about it, this is only the last week of July – not August – and I have been writing this column as if it were the last week in August.That was pretty stupid.He’s not leaving for a few weeks yet. I think I’ll take my boy out to dinner tonight. Or to a movie. Or maybe we’ll go play down at the park. Or a long drive around the mountains. Or play catch out in the yard. Or just sit and talk out on the back patio.Luckily, we still have a little bit more time.Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at This column, as in the case of all personal columns, does not necessarily reflect the views of the Vail Daily.Vail, Colorado

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