We all have our war stories to tell. I was in labor for 28 hours. The night before it froze (unheard of in Orange County, CA). Our pipes burst and we called a plumber the day before. It was the coldest, rainiest February I had ever experienced, here.
They cut me open and our baby boy was born on Feb. 16, 1990 at 10:23pm. I never knew my heart could just bust out wide open like that every time I looked at him. With each child, my heart just grew and grew every time I gazed upon them. And I could never take my eyes off them. But he was the first born. Our world was never the same.
It’s my son’s birthday today. Funny, how I am sitting here in his old room, turned into media den, watching Top Chef Seattle (where he resides now).
He is a successful, loving and happy 23. All grown up, working in his field, accompanied by a wonderful woman who we adore as well.
How I miss him. I miss the baby that made his stoic grandfather cry when he held him in his arms at the hospital. He was the apple of my dad’s eye. He resembles him physically and has his mannerisms. My aunt in Argentina cried bitterly when she met him back in 2004. He was fourteen and looked just like her brother as a teen. She kept calling him my dad’s name. She kept staring at him, eating him up. My father passed away, a few days later.
I miss the toddler who loved dinosaurs and Disneyland. We went there every day and he knew the name of all the extinct animals displayed in the tunnel section of the Main St. train ride where the antiquated diorama held primitive adventures, ferns (his favorite plant then) and fake lava spouting out of paint brushed volcanoes. His love of dinosaurs led him to Michael Crichton and science fiction. His love of reading led him to a great knowledge of vocabulary, hence the name, Mr. Dictionary.
I miss the preschooler who adored his baby sister enough to let her stick sweet tarts into his nose till they stung and got dressed up in a purple Barney dinosaur suit just so she would hug him. “I love you, you love me” I heard him singing. He was amazing with babies and children have always been attracted to him. It must be the childlike quality of play he owns and wears well.
I miss the young boy we dragged out to the t-ball and soccer fields every weekend. The youngster who took piano lessons and got into the GATE program. The brother that led the way for his sisters into junior and senior high school, making our last name one to be respected academically and hard to follow in this town.
I am relaxing here in my arm chair, reminiscing about our first-born, only son, striking out on his own, visiting now with his significant other when he comes back home. Twenty three years later, I face time him with our i-phones. I show him our eighty degree sunny weather, he unintentionally reveals his childhood plastic dinosaur collection on his bathroom shelf in rainy, cold Seattle.
We, his father and I, celebrate his kindness, his acute intelligence, his depth of heart, his ingenuous humor and the unassuming demeanor he displays as he explores his world in wonder, still.
Happy Birthday, Son.
And Happy Birthday and thank you to you too, J. (you know why)