Hard to believe (at least for me), but my son turned 27 today - he is now the same age I was when he was born. That's got to be some kind of cosmic birthday, right? It seems simultaneously ages ago, and just yesterday. I remember his squashy little face so clearly, and all the faces in between that one, and the man's face he now presents. So terribly cliché, I know, but how did this happen? I can't be this old, can I?
I remember Jeremy at age 5, in Sunday school - the group was asked if they knew what alpha and omega were, and he said, "The first and last letters in the Greek alphabet". All the grownups laughed, and he was puzzled, he asked me, "Why are they laughing? It's the right answer, isn't it?" Yeah, he was the smart kid, the one who knew all the answers, even sometimes the ones the grownups didn't know. And he suffered for it, too, not only the smart kid, but the ADHD kid who couldn't sit still, couldn't stop from shouting out in class, didn't LOOK like he was paying attention, but still could recite the lesson chapter and verse. I have a picture of him at age 7, sititng in a chair with a bowl of chips, reading Catcher in the Rye. The serious look on his face is priceless.
I remember him wanting to be cool in junior high, and never quite making it. By the time he got to high school, he quit caring. In fact, he was in-your-face fuck-you, and wore a bright pink fuzzy housecoat as his winter coat in Grade 12, along with army fatigues, silk ties, and weird T-shirts. In the end, he was mentioned in the valedictory speech - a kind of post-hoc acceptance, I guess.
I am very proud of my son: despite severe ADHD, he has managed to get an undergraduate degree, and is now studying for a master's in information management/library science. Despite numerous betrayals by so-called friends, he has stayed kind and forgiving in nature. He's never been embarrassed to say "I love you Mom" in public, and never once asked me to drop him off 3 blocks from school (not that I would ever have agreed to that!)
I guess whatever influence I have had as a mother is mostly done now; he's all "finished", and I must have done a pretty decent job, cause he's a pretty decent guy.
Happy birthday, kiddo.