Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, totally worn out and screaming,
"WOO HOO, what a ride!"

Monday, December 22, 2008

For my birthday boy...

Happy birthday to my oldest son. As I glance at the clock it was 20 years ago today, almost to the minute that he was finally born. I say finally because even though he was almost three weeks early, I had been in labor for 10 days by the time I had him. My doctor decided that he would be fine if he was born at that time so they wouldn't try to prevent it but they weren't going to help things along either. The longer I could last the bigger he would get so we let nature take it's course. For me it felt like a long course. I had no clue what real labor was. It was painful enough for me and I was begging my baby to be born. It felt like forever but all 5 lbs. 10 oz. of his tiny but healthy body finally made it's way into the world and the next 20 years have flown by in the blink of an eye. I know it's a cliche but it's so true. Where does the time go?

His personality has been very much like his birth, stubborn, pushy, resistant to following directions, glorious, determined, on his terms, magnificent, loving, gorgeous, stubborn and stubborn. He was our first child, the first grandchild and one of the three most beautiful, amazing children ever born. (Can you guess how many kids I have?) He is so handsome and charming with his sweet grin. He's gotten away with a lot of things over the years because of that grin. He is an amazing athlete and very bright although school has never been a priority for him and many report cards have reflected that. The first three years of high school were a constant battle over his grades and homework. I have several bald patches on my head that I owe to him. I was constantly tearing my hair out. He was also the typical oldest child and bossed and bullied his younger brothers constantly. (I'm so glad I never did that!)

But something happened during his senior year. He started to change. Friends had reassured me that it would get better, we would survive the teen years. Although I definitely looked forward to that I didn't want to wish the time away. Their childhoods were already zipping past at warp speed. As he really began to enjoy his last year in high school he also became more mature. He has a nice group of friends and they are close classmates. Graduation was very emotional and bittersweet. We were thrilled he had graduated but so sad to see it happen. And although his college was only two hours away, taking him there was one of the saddest days of my life. Such a huge milestone for all of us. I missed him terribly but I was happy for his new found independence. This was an important time in his life and I would do anything to make it a great one.

So something more happened that first year. He began to appreciate his home and his family. He called home just to say hi. He replied with "I love you too" at the end of our chats. He was more helpful when he was on break. (I said more helpful. He's still a slob!) He even offered to do things without being asked. When he transferred schools and decided to work full time for the summer and fall semester to save up some money he returned home to live. I was thrilled. Especially with his younger brother leaving for college that year. Two sons leaving home one year after the other was going to be agony for me. It's only a ten minute drive to his work and will take even less time to drive to his campus when the next semester starts. He loved having his own place but he will again soon. He will have a lifetime of utility bills and mortgage payments. I was proud that he chose wisely and even more proud when he became a responsible worker. This is his first full time job and he is very dedicated. He's never late and he works hard. He's even saved some money. He calls home before he leaves to see if we need milk or if his youngest brother wants a ride. He calls if he won't be home for dinner. Now, I did say more responsible. He's still a young man and he acts like one. He still argues with his brothers and fights over the remote control. He still leaves his dirty clothes on the floor and his dirty dishes on the coffee table. He takes too long in the bathroom and doesn't notice when the dog dish is empty. But I am grateful for even those issues. Because in the grand scheme of things, they are so small. And I know I will actually miss even those things someday.

Happy birthday to my son, my sweet baby, my little boy, my young man. You and your brothers are my everything. I love you with all my heart.

December 22, 2008


  1. I hope your son has a happy birthday. Mine turned 21 this year, so I know how hard it is to let go, and how rewarding it is to watch them mature.

  2. i don't usually get so teary eyed at this hour of the day, but your post is so wonderfully heartfelt. As a mother of much older children, I can still remember the heartache and joy of watching them test their wings and eventually fly out of the nest. Happy, happy birthday! And,Mom - the next 20 years will fly by even faster. Enjoy every moment.


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