Three decades ago, just on this date and almost at this time, a screaming little guy entered the world. It was a crazy day --- rain and sunshine mixed, pay day, Chicago Tylenol murders, and EPCOT opening. As usual, this little guy was late -- a full two weeks, to be exact -- and looked like he was three months old and had spent most of that time at the beach working on his tan.
In his first picture, he looks rather like a pirate, scrunching up one eye and holding his hands in the way only pirates do, clutching for something that he wants but Just Can't Reach. Yet. He is just a few minutes old, but his chocolate eyes (how I had hoped he'd get those from his Daddy!) were taking in everything in the delivery room --- most likely trying to figure out how to get the nurses to take him for a quick game of pool or a drink.
A few weeks later (or so it seems), he was entering high school and asking for a 16th birthday trip to England. Just the two of us, he said, which was good since that was all there was... and we roomed together, toured, walked, ate, and played a blue moon million games of poker at night while seeing England from London to York. He didn't throw up when a fella we met at one of the hostels asked how long he had been with his "lady." Good naturedly, he replied, "All my life" only to be assured by the questioner that it just seemed that way sometimes.... until the explanation of "this is my Mum" was made. The fella just howled and said we got along far too well to be parent and child. And, we returned home still friends and speaking.
Then, suddenly, this handsome young man was on his own (I swear it was just a few weeks after he made his grand entrance) and following his bliss. He did things I wished I had done; took chances and made choices that drove me to distraction (isn't that a rule or something when one has children?). And he has made me so proud to be his Mum.
It is difficult to look at one's child and realize that when I was his age, I thought I was so old and wise -- my life was half over, or so it seemed. Yet, when I look at him, I see his life just beginning and so many wonderful years ahead of him and his beautiful wife. I miss my tow-headed, chocolate eyed son, but I would miss the courageous, intelligent, compassionate, and witty young man I am so joyful to have in my life.
You are far away right now, my dear Airman, but I can feel you just as I could before you were born. Through you, I know that I will continue to be as long as you and your children and your children's children think of me or make my pound cake. The day you came into the world, it became a better place. And I am proud to know that I had a hand in making you. Me and God. Oh, and your Dad showed up, too...
Happy Birthday, Airman! May you have many, many, many more! Be safe and come home soon!