Several years ago, I took my children on a tour of NBC studios in New York. Each one got a souvenir. My youngest son, 9 or 10 at the time, took home a soft plush pillow in the shape of the NBC peacock logo. He loved that pillow, to the eventual exclusion of the stuffed monkeys and lions that had lived on his bed for years.
The monkeys and lions may be long gone, but the other morning, when I woke him up, my son, now 13, was still clutching that NBC pillow in his sleep, just like he did with his stuffed menagerie, and before that, with his blankie when he was a little boy.
My son is on the cusp of childhood and adolescence. He is still cuddly and fun with us, but pushes us away often. He moans when he has to get up to go to school in the morning, but commands his teams on the soccer and baseball fields. He tells us so much, yet he has secrets. He spends five weeks away from us each summer at camp, creating a life we know nothing about.
And according to the Jewish community, not only is he just arriving in his teen-dom, he is actually now a man, as we celebrated his coming of age by becoming a bar mitzvah last weekend.