My son is seven. He has long legs and has developed strong arms from swimming. He has soft, floppy, light brown hair and dark brown eyes. There is a smattering of freckles under his eyes and across his nose from spending summer outside. He laughs easily and often.
This is how I see my son - at the age that he is. When I look at his baby pictures, I can instantly recall where we were in that moment on that day of our lives. But when I close my eyes and picture him now, I can only see him the way he is now.
And I have absolutely no idea what he will look like/be like when he is older.
I've tried to picture him older - and I can't do it. Not only that, but I can't even picture the world that he will live in when he is older.
For example, when he goes to take his driver's test, will he do that in a car that parks for him? Or will the test instructor make him dumb down the car so that he has to drive it unassisted? (I hope it is the latter.)
Or, when he gets his first social media access, will he become so used to living his life online that I'll have to send him to summer camp with no wi-fi so he remembers what his own inner voice sounds like? (I might do that anyway.)
And, will college tuition finally become so exorbitant that everyone will swear off higher learning and figure out how to become successful with their own start-up company?
Actually, out of all those scenarios, I think the last one is the most plausible. I mean, sure there are lots of advice columns around helping to pay down student debt, but it doesn't change the fact that going to college is racking up that bill in the first place.
So, I try to plan for the future in my own way - talking about driving safely, reminding him that technology isn't everything and that we are all always learning (even when we aren't in school). And, I enjoy him at the age he is right now, while we still have the time.
Do you worry about your child's future life? Share what keeps you up at night in the comments.