Every day I make an entry in a journal about what my boys are up to. Sometimes it’s a page, sometimes a paragraph, sometimes a word. I made my first entry 24 years ago, when the oldest, Henry, was born.
Now, with all of them gone, I go back to the old journals, yes, to reminisce, but also to research. What were the seminal events in their early lives that made them the young men they are today, and what role did I play in those formative moments?
I found this in my 1996 Journal: “I helped Quinn build his first model today. A Revell B-52 bomber. When we were done, he pointed out that I glued the wings on upside down. Oops.”
And this, from the 1998 Journal: “I assisted Quinn with his science fair project, a miniature boat motor. Fucking disaster. I’ve always sucked at this science shit.”
1999 Journal: “Quinn and I went to the beach to launch the rocket we built. Descent chute failed to deploy. Plastic astronaut perished in crash. My bad.”
And then this, in the “Christmas Lists” section of my 2000 journal: “Quinn asked for a subscription to Popular Mechanics. Good for him!”
2002: “I asked Quinn if he needed help with his science fair project. He said, ‘Thanks, I’ll do it myself this time.’ What’s up with that!?”
And this, from my 2010 journal: “Quinn declared engineering his major. Wants to specialize in nautical engineering. Wow!”
And then, in 2011, “Quinn got an internship working in a boatyard in Brazil, helping a boat designer with this project…”
Damn, I’m good.