Of all the numbers in the world, 18 is Joey’s favorite. About a Lego boat he built today, my 7-year-old told me: “I needed one of these white pieces and when I looked for one, I found 18.” The other day when we disappointed him with the news that we could not go out to dinner for the third time in one week, he said: “We haven’t gone out to eat for 18 years.” Joey went to summer school for 18 days. He had 18 swim lessons. Danny has broken 18 of his toys. He is sure he’s read 18 books since school’s been out. And I’ve made him do 18 things he hasn’t wanted to do—summer school and swim lessons included.
Eighteen is a big number for Joey. It denotes large quantities—lots of Lego pieces, lots of school days, lots of books read—and I can hardly wait for the kid to announce that his mom has survived breast cancer for 18 years. When that time comes, though, he’ll be almost 22 years old. I bet 18 won’t be such an important number for him then. But it will be for me.
Photo courtesy of Claudecf on flickr