Today my baby boy turns 32 years old. How is that possible? It really doesn't seem that long ago that we were all calling him "Winston" because as a baby he reminded us all so much of Winston Churchill. Here's the evidence - you be the judge. Perhaps the resemblance wasn't as striking as we all thought at the time. Maybe it had more to do with disposition? I dunno.
Through the years we had our ups and downs, my boy and me. Suffice it to say he was not an easy child to raise. We had our moments of drama and tears. He totalled my car one night when he was just 15 and didn't even have a license yet. When people asked if he had been hurt in the accident my standard response was "not yet, but we're still considering it."
But from the days of early childhood
up through his High School years
my youngest son and I have had a powerfully close bond. We are very much alike, which is probably why we had so many sparks fly at times.
Oh the stories I could tell...from the infamous family fishing story (They wiggle!) to his jock years when I spent SOOO many days at little league fields, soccer fields, football fields, wrestling matches, etc...
Or what I thought when he went off to serve his country in the Marine Corp...
We saw him through a too-early marriage against all our council and did the best we could to help him pick up the pieces when it fell apart. We banded together again during the years he was a single parent raising his three gorgeous kids all on his own.
Lots of water under the bridge since those days. He's moved from North Carolina to Oregon to Texas to Michigan. He now has a new love in his life - one that came as a package deal with FOUR MORE KIDS! So their tribe of 9 does the best they can to navigate the sometimes complicated waters of a blended family.
Though we live many miles apart these days, my son and I talk on the phone at least once a week - sometimes for hours at a time. We can talk music, politics, weather, kids, food, family, past events, future goals. It is a rich, respectful, honest relationship between my son and me. We don't always agree with each other, but we always, ALWAYS trust, love and support one another in powerfully meaningful ways.
We've built many special times together - from our road trip to Nashville, TN when he was fifteen to our later adventure to the Oregon Coast - camping by Hood River, flying kites on the beach...or pumpkin gathering with the kids out at the farm where I now live during the time he lived in Bend...these are all memories I treasure
So happy birthday my boy. Make it a good one!
On this very same day I also send birthday wishes to my sister-in-law Toni in Idaho and to my dear friend Patricia in Africa serving in the Peace Corp. Yep, Sep 25 is a pretty special day.