Zach Put a Smile Upon My Face


Zach’s on right.

Talk about Carlat luck! Every time I visit Zach’s Facebook page, I see a new photo of him with a different beautiful girl. He’s got the same shit-eating grin in each shot, which makes me break out into a similar, contact high smile. I recently mentioned this to him and he said that his mom had noticed the exact same thing.

There he is with his buff arms casually laced around tanned collegiate cuties with alliterative porn names and they’re all slightly hammered, and – attention all parents of college kids – this is what you’re spending a ridiculous amount of your money on!

(Brief aside: It’s so worth it! There’s no amount of money I wouldn’t spend to see my kids happy and I only wish I had more of it so they could be happier. Whoever said “money doesn’t buy happiness” never maxed out their credit cards. But I digress …)

The funny, almost surreal thing is that Zach’s smile of course hasn’t changed since he was a little boy and the thousands of kid pics I have of him and his bro are acid-etched into my brain. Images of him in diapers or in the bathtub with his brother or at sleepaway camp or licking a giant lollipop at Disneyworld are jarringly incongruous with the ones of him holding a hot babe in one hand and a cold beer in the other.

Which is to say that it makes me feel fucking old. Because Zach’s 20-year slideshow from dirty nappy to Natty Light happened in the blink of an eye. And I guarantee you that whoever said “they grow up so fast” wasn’t smiling when he said it.

I always tell my friends with small children to savor every moment. The universe, as it is wont to do, happily reminded me of this time travel phenomenon this past weekend. I was riding the subway Sunday morning and sitting across from me were a dad with his two young sons, they must’ve been 4 or 5, and I noticed their tiny Nikes in red and blue, and flashed back on how much I loved tying my kids shoelaces when they were that little (“Build a teepee come inside, close it tight so we can hide …”) and then flashed forward to when they were teenagers and how I always knew that they were home and safe when I saw their giant kicks parked by the front door.

And before you know it they’re six-foot-two, corralling chicks on Facebook, and you’re sitting in your apartment in Brooklyn all by yourself just before it gets dark on a late fall afternoon, joyfully clicking on Like buttons and smiling from ear to ear like a crazy, old man. And the really fucked up thing is that before they know it, my kids will be doing the exact same thing.

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