I ran across this today and decided to share it again for Alex’s birthday. Some of it has changed. He now has a masters degree, full time job, apartment, and fiancée. We won’t celebrate his birthday in person. In fact, his birthday cards will be late and I texted him at work.
I’m a little torn today because while I’m glad he has built himself the start of a grown-up life, my mommy heart misses him. I’m told this is how it’s supposed to be, and that it won’t ever change much, so I’m going with it.
I hope you enjoy the blast from the past and I’ll see you next week.
He’s never really been small; we took him home from the hospital in a 3 month onesie. All the newborn clothes I’d picked up at yard sales got packed back up for the next baby.
At 5, he had a life plan worked out. At 7, he was a theologian. About 10, his strong sense of moral outrage kicked in, but he’s never let it override logic, and he’s good at trying to see other sides of issues. He would make a good lawyer, but that’s not even on his radar.
I’ve watched him grow from the cutest little butterball baby and toddler you could ever want to see, through the ornery gangly teen years, into manhood. He still has a plan for his life, but it’s a little different than it was at 5. He’s still planning on being in the military; that hasn’t changed. He’s always been interested in the military. He’s my itchy foot kid; travel light and don’t stay anywhere too long.
I don’t know how it’s possible, but he turns 21 today. He didn’t want a party, and presents are optional. He just wants to go to dinner somewhere that he can order a beer. I expect he’ll have his party next month when he goes back to school, which isn’t too surprising. It’s more fun to celebrate with frat brothers!
Every birthday is a little more bittersweet. Every year they move away from Eric and me a little bit more. Our roles have changed from disciplinary to advisory. Pretty soon they’ll both be off on their own and birthdays will be celebrated via mail and telephone. Not this one, though. For this one, we’ll still have a birthday cake at home.
Happy 21st birthday, Alex!