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Posts Tagged ‘birthday’

happy birthday, turtle

a bird, a turtle and loveToday is Todd’s birthday. This photo may not mean anything to you, but he knows what it means.

You know how teenage girls will sometimes make a list of all the things they want in their “perfect” man? Yes, they really do that. And I did that when I was about 13 or so. I narrowed down my list of perfection to about 20 attributes, which included physical traits like blond hair and blue eyes, important things like he must play bass and have at least one tattoo, and intangibles like good sense of humor, smart and fun. Then I threw away my list, assured by older peers that the perfect guy just does not exist.

But he does. And I have him. Well, he’s perfect for me, which is all that matters. That we found each other is, I believe, an act of fate and I never take for granted the fact that I was fortunate enough to end up with the guy who absolutely completes me, cheesy as that may be.

Todd is, simply, the greatest guy in the world and he deserves everything he wishes for on his birthday. Not that he’s going to get a shotgun, an armored tank and a small country named after him, but he does deserve those things. And how can you not love a guy who, when he realizes he’s not going to get his own country and militia for his birthday, says he’ll settle for a pocket fisherman and a Snuggie?

Happy birthday, turtle*. I love you. You rule.

*I may or may not explain that nickname some day

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365-90: happy birthday, happy birthday, we love you

Happy birthday, happy birthday we love you (365-90)

Day 90 of 365: a year in songs and photos
Song: Tom Chapin, Happy Birthday

Tomorrow is my son’s 15th birthday.

When my kids were very young, I started using this Tom Chapin song for their birthdays instead of the traditional birthday song:

Happy birthday, happy birthday we love you
Happy birthday and may all your dreams come true
When you blow out the candles one light stays aglow
That’s the love light in your eyes wherever you go

Excuse me. I think I have something in my eye. Oh, yea, it’s my overactive emotions.

Fifteen. Where the hell did fifteen years go? It feels like just moments ago that he was toddling around the backyard. I look at all the pictures of him and it all passes before me like a movie; the ear infections, the way he memorized a map of the United States when he was just two, his obsession with the Power Rangers, making the Little League all-star team, playing that damn recorder in the school concert, mesmerizing the staff at Guitar Center when he played Comfortably Numb for them, his idolization of Eddie Van Halen and his obsession with anything from the 80’s….it all plays out in full color in my head, still life memories and film clips of everything from when he fell asleep in his high chair, face down in a bowl of oatmeal, to his brooding teenager phase that he’s just coming out of.

You have so much hope for your kids when they are young. Sometimes that hope and your dreams of success for your child make you want more from them than they want to give. The phrase “so much potential” comes to mind, because we’ve heard it about him a million times. “He could get a baseball scholarship some day.” But he stopped playing baseball. “He’s an amazing guitar player.” But he has no desire to join a band or play in any school bands. “His good grades seem effortless.” But 8th grade was kind of a rude awakening to the fact that it couldn’t always be effortless. So you kind of back off from cajoling them into doing what you want them to do and try to find out what they want to do. Besides play Xbox and watch hockey games, that is.

Anyone who has parented a teenage son will tell you that 14 is a tough year. I’m not going to lie, there were times in the last year when I wanted to tell him to go live with his father. When his uncle (my brother in law) died last April, it was like the last flickering light of the child I knew went out. I was told to give him time. I did. We’ve been patient and demanding at the same time; a healthy combination of both, I think. We waited out his penchant for locking himself in his room but tried to curtail his surliness. We just waited and hoped that light in his eyes would reappear. It did. We made it to 15.

Like magic, there’s been a considerable change in his attitude and outlook the past two months. His teachers have noticed a marked effort on his part to catch up on work he blew off. He’s taking interest once again in his schoolwork. He’s more sociable. Less awkward. He wants to play baseball again. I hear the beginning notes of the solo from Comfortably Numb coming from his room and it makes me think that flickering light is coming back to full flame again. I’m actually enjoying his company once more.

Being a parent gets tougher every year. The older they get, the bigger the problems get. They will drive absolutely batshit crazy sometimes. But when you can look at your kid and, even though he’s not a star athlete or honor student or anything like that and say “He’s a good kid. I’m proud he’s mine,” that’s what keeps you sane.

It’s definitely a cliche, but childhood does go so fast. It really feels like yesterday that I was teaching him how to ride a bike. I look at this lanky kid – who looks more like a man than a kid – and wonder when he got to be as tall as me. When did he grow up? I know there were a lot of times when I thought to myself “How much longer til he goes away to college, because it can’t be soon enough.” But now I find myself saying “I only have three more years before I lose him to the real world.” I’m just going to enjoy these three years and hope he fulfills his own dreams for himself, whatever they may be.

God, I hope he isn’t thinking serial killer or pimp.

Oh, and if you think I’m maudlin now, wait two weeks for my daughter’s 18th birthday.

Happy birthday, happy birthday, we love you…

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question of the day

Help. My family is hounding me.

What do I want for my birthday?

Really. I’m asking YOU, because I can never answer this question without saying “hmmmmmm” for thirty seconds before giving up. Be serious, be creative, be funny. Whatever you suggest, I’m printing it out and giving it to my family.

Difficulty: What I REALLY want is unaffordable, and I already have a plethora of sex toys.

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