December 14, 2002

Birthday Boy

Image copyright Fred First Twenty four years ago today, Ann was baking cookies. That was one of the very few things she could pysically do, since also 'in the oven' was our second child, expecting to draw his first breath at any time. I was napping on the couch in the warmth of the baking and filled with the pleasant doughy smells that were coming from the next room.

I partially awoke to hear Ann say "The water broke".

"Drat! I should have put more insulation on those pipes" I muttered, 'water breaking' only signifying in my stupor that I was about to put on my coveralls and climb back into the crawlspace again. After five years in the old house on Withers Road, I thought I had everything properly winter-proofed.

"No, dummy. This water" and she indicated the linoleum under her feet. We packed up the hospital bag that had been waiting for a week, and spent the next 12 hours in various stages of labor, waiting to meet our son for the first time.

Our daughter, born five years earlier, had been beautiful and photogenic from her first hospital nursery pictures. Nathan also had some pictures made. What can I say? One of my daughter's friends saw him for the first time and told us with childlike brutal honesty "he looks like Christie's grandfather"...a wizened, pruny, simian little man. Nate was a beautiful child in that he had all his fingers and toes, but past that, I was really hoping in those first months that he would grow up to have a mighty good personality, 'cause he was gonna need it.

In twenty four years, he has grown into a fine looking young man and I am proud to stand beside him and call him my son. But more than that, I am thankful for who he is, and is becoming... a young man who makes friends easily and works hard to keep them; a person who is more generous to strangers than common sense would dictate; a person of keen intellect who appreciates this as an unearned gift, and intends to use it for good; a confident world traveler who has found warmth in those both lovely and unlovely around the world; a creative and caring poet whose music and words one day will change the lives of many; and a thinker who struggles honestly with the really hard questions and cares deeply about the answers.

You have come a long way. And miles to go before you sleep. To him to whom much is given, much is expected. Carry God's blessing gracefully and well. Happy Birthday, sonny boy. See you soon.

Love, Mom and Dad

Posted by fred1st at December 14, 2002 01:28 PM

Happy Birthday, Nathan. A fine looking young man, indeed.

Posted by: Da Goddess at December 14, 2002 08:18 PM

Nate: As Pooh would say, "Many happy returns of the day." By all accounts, you've done quite a lot of living for a 24-year-old! My prayer is that you will have the opportunity to do much, much more.

Posted by: Curt at December 16, 2002 11:31 PM

I am spoiled rotten. Thanks, Pa, and Ma, and Curt, and Ms. Goddess, ma'am, all, thank you kindly for the encouraging words, and thoughts, and prayers and well-wishes. Happy holidays.

And daddy, I guess you'll think twice next time about sending such a welcoming message. I'm coming home. See you tomorrow morning at the airport at 10-something sharp.

Posted by: nate at December 18, 2002 08:13 PM

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