May. 2nd, 2009

yellowvalley: picture of a waterfall in yellowstone (Default)
My nephew Scott, who has lived with me since he was 1, turned 18 in December. Not much changed; it's not like it's some magical barrier that instantly turns him into an adult, especially in my thoughts and attitude towards him. But now, it's kind of hitting me that he's a supposed 'grown up'.

Today I went and took him for his SAT's. He's pretty late for this, but his earlier scheduled date he forgot, which I guess kind of added to the whole 'he may be 18, but he's still a kid' type mentality. His college applications are all in, he only has about 15 school days left, and then graduation. He's not at the top of his class or anything, but when you consider that it's only my sister and I out of nearly our entire family that even graduated high school with a diploma instead of a GED it's kind of a big deal. His brother Mike is graduating in the same ceremony, but he's severely mentally handicapped so even though he's a year older, I'll never have to face this with him. He'll always be a little kid. And yet I take no pleasure in this.

Then tonight is Scott's senior prom. He has a date, a pretty little girl he's been friends with whom is taller than him and from the vibes and silly smiles I've been getting from my dear nephew is the subject of a decently heavy crush. I never, in a million years, would have thought he'd get the nerve to ask somebody. I encouraged him to, but seeing as how I didn't think it would happen, didn't harp on it for fear of making him feel bad because he didn't. But then he came home, said he had a date, and promptly asked for money I couldn't afford to give. I gave it anyway, and sold my extra computer.

A month from tomorrow, he'll be getting on a plane. It's his first trip without someone with him, his first trip out of state since he was 8, his first plane ride, and his first time moving away from home. He's going to follow in my footsteps and do a summer out in Yellowstone National Park as kitchen crew in the Lake Hotel. I won't lie, I feel fantastic thinking that something I did he thinks is worth doing for him. I'm also scared to death. Because even though he's an 'adult', I still think of him as generally irresponsible and naive. I'm scared to death because if something goes wrong, I won't be nearby to help. And yes, even though I know the odds against it, I'm scared he'll be eaten by a bear. Oh shush, it's an Aunt's perogative, K?

Basically, I'm scared to death he'll crash and burn and I'll be able to do nothing but watch from the sidelines.

But mostly I'm surprised at what he's already accomplished, and terribly excited to see what he'll do next.

But does the scared to death part of me have to be so loud???

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