#53 In Roads-Youngblood


Eddy is the youngest new friend I’ve made since I started this. He’s just turned 17 and seems to have a pretty good head on his shoulders. Despite his jokes, I can see there’s a deep kid who pays attention and is always thinking behind those dark brown eyes. I like him immediately.

He shares that his very independent and exceptional mother has raised him, without benefit of his father, on a school bus driver’s income. I can tell she’s taught him honorable values and strong morals. We talk about our mutual experiences of growing up without a father as he admits that he thinks about his dad now and then and wonders if the man ever thinks about him. He hasn’t seen his father for over eight years. His much older adult brother lives in the next state over with his wife and family and his military sister is stationed in North Dakota. They all get to see each other once a year or so.

He tells stories of growing up in a bad area of Portland and of his only two experiences with bikers. Neither are good. I point out that we’re not all like those guys.

Eddy goes to a Catholic school and has plans for a medical career when he grows up. “I’m not sure what I want to do yet. I did want to go into respiratory therapy but I’m thinking about radiology now,” he shares. We discuss the pros and cons of going into the military to get his education and I advise him to discuss it with his family. Since his sister is getting an education through her enlistment, I’m sure she can give him the best advice. He agrees.

He doesn’t really want to chat with me much since the red headed girlfriend who wants to sit on his lap and eat off his plate distracts him. Still, he’s polite and humors me as I pepper him with questions. Ah, to be a teenager again. It made me smile to watch the two of them try to figure out who they are as individuals, let alone as a couple. It struck me that as adults it’s not really much different except maybe that we find our own chairs more comfortable and are less willing to share our food.


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