There are a lot of people who start a blog when they start a family. There is no hidden agenda. There are no angry rants about the new television season. What you find are a lot of very cute pictures of very sweet babies doing exactly what you might expect them to do: sit there and be cute. Some of them even come with charming anecdotes about how little Timmy "helped" paint the guest room with his wee little hands. Or maybe the time when Sharon connected the dots on her sister's chicken pox. Maybe I'm just having Family Circus flashbacks, but I don't think I'm making this up.
I could have done that. Way back when I started, I had an eight year old boy who had already done more than his share of cute and clever things. Heaven knows we could have spread some of those pictures around Al Gore's Internet and still had some to spare for the Family Album, but that wasn't the direction I went.
Instead, once a year I make a conscious effort to get back to making specific comment on how my ever-present son is connecting up with his world. That doesn't mean that I don't find time to comment on his meandering path toward adulthood. I do. These entries are interspersed with a lot of whatever else is going on in my mind, including that report on fracking or the memories I have of my own youth.
Here's the deal: Having a son has flavored everything else in my life, and if it weren't for him, I might not still be hammering away on this or that topic. Even if I was, I am certain that my view of the world has been changed forever because of his presence. This is a boy who came into the world to the strains of Beethoven and Bruce Springsteen. As much as I have tried to impress my world upon him, I know that world has been forever changed by what he has given me.
Today is his birthday, and as he continues to reach for that next rung on the ladder, I find myself hesitating only slightly to reach up to help. I want him to go as high as he wants, but I worry about what will happen if he falls. That last sentence almost came out "what will happen when he falls." That's what I have to keep in mind. He will slip and fall. I won't always be there to watch helplessly as he does so. That's the hardest part about this parent gig. I have just become accustomed to doing everything for this nascent life form, and now it's time to start unplugging from the main circuits. That doesn't mean I won't maintain some sort of wi-fi contact for the foreseeable future. I plan on keeping my nose in his business as long as possible from this plane, and the next if they let me. I'm really enjoying this particular show, and I don't want it to end.
That's why it seems to come up so frequently 'round here. It's not just his birthday, but today is, so Happy Birthday, son. Thanks for the memories.