Thursday, September 24, 2009

Getting an identity

Luki got his first piece of mail this week. Now, I know it's a federal offense to open someone else's correspondence, but he hasn't really figured out how to use his opposable thumbs yet... and it could have been time sensitive material, like a check from an anonymous benefactor a la Great Expectations. But, alas, no such luck -- it was his social security card.

My first thought upon opening the envelope containing the nine digits that will identify my son for the rest of his life was, "ALRIGHT! Now we can add him as a dependent and get us a tax break!"...but the party in my head only lasted a little while. As I tried to commit his SSN to memory, I realized, for the first time, that Luki will become an adult. Yes, I know I've talked about how much and how fast he's growing...but I always figured he would just turn into a gigantic baby, not an adult who needs a social security number to apply for a credit card, file taxes, or get a mortgage.

And, while putting his card away in the safe where we keep our birth certificates, car titles, and piles of cash from our money laundering business passports, I thought about my mother and the little tin box where she kept all of our important papers. And I remembered the day she handed over custody of my social security card to me. I had been away at college for a week and needed it for my work-study job, so she and my father drove up from Charlotte to DC for the day just to put it in my hands. I don't know if Big E, who packed my bags for college as if I was going to Siberia, genuinely forgot to include such an important document, or if she was just in emotional denial about letting go. I will say that, although I didn't realize it at the time, on that day I took a step closer to independence.

So, if I was a cheesy and emotional mommy, I would end this post talking about how important it is to cherish every moment because "oh they grow up so fast". But that's Ton Ton's style, not I'll say this:

"Hey Luki! Now that you got a SSN, it's time for you to get a part-time job and start pulling your weight around here!"

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