I keep thinking that Dragon should be here.  It’s a wordly milestone, I know, the 16th brithday.  But that kiddo should be here.  He should be here to make me nervous about him driving, he should be here to ask a girl to Homecoming, he should be here to study for the ACT and to complain about his AP classes.  He should be here to drive me crazy with forgetting to bring his homework — not to DO the homework, just the part where he leaves his completed homework sitting on the kitchen table where it gets no credit.  He should be here to tease me, as he loved to do.  He should be here to turn sixteen.

For his last birthday, his 14th birthday, we took Dragon and a bunch of his friends paddleboarding.  For most of his buddies, including Justin, it was their first time.  We got our paddleboards, the boys pushed off from shore, and within minutes, they were out on the water in the Newport Back Bay, splashing around, racing each other, watching jumping fish.  We tried to keep up with them, but they quickly paddled out of sight.  Oh, those boys, wanting to be on their own, no cars yet, but mobile on their paddleboards.

For his dream car, Dragon wanted a red Mustang with a black racing stripe.  I was telling this to a friend on the phone last night, sadness in my voice, unable to bear the thought of Dragon’s 16th birthday without him.  “Oh,” she said, “Dragon already has one.  They are up there driving around in that red Mustang with the black racing stripe.”


Dragon and his cousin, Samuel, racing around. They were born 3 months apart. Samuel just got his driver’s license.