I’d like to introduce you to my son Leo Dawkins. He is 20 years old, just beyond being a teenager, and in his sophomore year of college. He is studying to become a veterinarian because he has always loved animals. He is such a sweet boy, so compassionate for defenseless creatures. Even though he disliked all the science courses he had to take, he persevered through school because he wanted to do what he could to take care of animals and improve their lives.
He always had pets growing up, from lizards to hamsters, to cats and dogs. When he went away to college, he had to leave behind his beloved German Shepherd, named Jagger, after the singer of The Rolling Stones. Second to animals, Leoloves music and is very talented at playing the guitar. I still picture him, sitting outside on a blanket in the grass in our backyard, plucking out a new tune on his guitar, with Jagger curled up next to him sleeping in the warm sun.
Leo was very shy in high school, and if he had a girlfriend back then, I never knew about it. But I suspect, since we are so close, that he would have told me, and that he was just too self-conscious to talk to any girls. As his mother, this was fine by me – I figured he could wait until college to start exploring that.
In college, Leoblossomed into a social butterfly, even joining a fraternity – something he swore in high school he’d never do, because, in his words, joining a fraternity was just “having mommy and daddy buy you friends.” I was shocked when he pledged during the second semester of his freshman year, and got in.
He even got a girlfriend, shortly after joining the fraternity. Her name is Makayla. I am not the biggest fan of Makayla. Now, I don’t want to seem like one of those jealous, possessive moms who never wants her son to date, but Makayla was just bag news. From what I could tell when she would come home with Leoon breaks, she was whiny, clingy and manipulative. I will admit, too, that some of my resentment comes from Leospending part of all his breaks from school with Makayla’s family, meaning my husband and our younger son, Drew, saw Leo even less.
But Leois such a good boy and works so hard at his studies, and to make his new friends and girlfriend happy.
I miss him so much.