At 23, I had a full-time job as a broker/trader on the New York Futures Exchange. Two months later I had my own apartment. During that year, from September 1985 – September 1986, I met Karen and we got engaged.
At 23, Nate is always home, puttering around, watching cartoons, hanging out, waiting for his next meal. That sounds depressing, and, in some ways, it is, but Nate is also a professional artist with a future (we think) and a budding designer.
I’m not sure what the contrast means, or even if it means anything. In some ways Nate is very much a 23-year old in August 2013, as much as I was a part of September 1985. He’s a recent college graduate, back living at home with his parents, looking for a job of some kind (actually, we’re looking for one for him).
Nate used to celebrate his birthday with theme easting. One year it was breakfast at McDonald’s, lunch at Burger King and dinner at Wendy’s. Another it was breakfast at Walker Brothers (the drool producing Chicago pancake house), followed by Denny’s and IHOP. Yup, IHOP for dinner. Talk about depressing, not to mention sticky.
Today Nate requested a sausage and egg McGriddle (no cheese!) and two hash browns. The Pizza Hut buffet was the midday meal and tonight we’re eating at Toscana on Main St. in Cooperstown. At least that is a very good restaurant. His presents were a mix of kids DVDs and video games, and I can’t really argue that point. At 23 I probably bought some baseball cards.
His birthdays are always assessment days and it’s hard to know what the future is. We’ve got a plan that he’s bought into, mostly, of some work, some art, some lounging around. It’s not a bad life, if it pans out the way we hope.
That’s how we see Nate’s future. Here’s a piece of how someone outside the family sees Nate in the present day: