This week, my son turns 21. This will be the first birthday for which I have not been able to tell him “happy birthday” on his birthday, but I’m guessing it won’t be the last.
Birthdays became a pretty big deal for me with his arrival. I began to call MY mother on my birthday and thank her for bringing me into the world. It was as much her day as it was mine because it was a special day that the two of us shared in a way no one else did. The same goes for my son.
He was a couple of days late, and a very difficult birth. (Even the doctor and nurse were teary!) For someone who came out looking like the scrawniest cone-headed chicken who looked like Winston Churchill, he caused quite a fuss, but I would have done it all over again the next day because he was worth it. Okay, maybe I would have waited a couple of days …
The two of us had more than 3 years together as ‘just us’ before his brother came along. We logged an incredible number of hours reading Goodnight Moon, The Tiny Tiny Boy and the Big Big Cow, and Sitting in my Box. We would watch Babar the Movie over and over and over again. I would sing a lullaby medley for him which included Mr. Sandman, Dream a Little Dream of Me, Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams, Close Your Eyes, and You Are My Sunshine. We spent hours on the playscape at the park.
Now he’s more likely reading the Uniform Code of Military Justice, watching videos on how to keep himself and his battle buddies safe, his gun isn’t loaded with just Nerf darts anymore, and his playscape includes a 40-foot tower that he has to rappel off of with a DS screaming in his face. I hope he still remembers some of the lullabies I used to sing to him, but he probably falls asleep before his head even hits the pillow these days.
Happy 21st Birthday, my love. I miss you. I would still do it all over again to have you.