Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Birthday, Son

Our son was born on February 17, 1976.  It seems appropriate that the entire country was celebrating that year.  It became clear early on that he was a special little boy.  He recognized letters before he was two and read books before he was three.  He enlisted in the US Marines when he was five through a flier in a magazine.  Our mailman intercepted it and we kept it framed and later gave it to his wife.

He was a challenging child, born with his own schedule and given to temper tantrums during the "terrible twos."  Recognizing that the scale was not perfect on his childish drawings, he would dissolve into tears, crying because "the people are too big, they're not supposed to be half the size of the house."  His older sister could set him off when she would draw a smiley face saying, "This is me" and a frowny face saying, "This is you."  He loudly announced the "eff" word, asking what it meant in a fast food restaurant when he was four.  I had the privilege of calling three sets of parents to let them know their children had learned a new word, thanks to my son's reading ability and curiosity.

This was his favorite shirt.  He insisted on wearing it every day and waited for it to get out of the dryer when it had to be washed.  Finally it was just too small.  I still have it.

Just as my mother did not understand why I would allow him to wear the same tee shirt every day, she did not understand why I would let him go outside without a jacket.  I tried to explain that if I said nothing he would come inside and get a jacket when he got cold.  I knew that some battles were best not even fought.

He rode his Big Wheel for hours.

Like most children, he loved Christmas and unlike many, he liked getting dressed up.  He still does.
(This may have been the last year we put tinsel on our trees.)

When he didn't want his picture made he refused to smile.  And no amount of joking would coax a smile from him.  He was quite determined when he set his mind to something.

Many of his teachers in grade school and high school loved him, and many did not.  It was not at all unusual to go to one teacher conference and hear such glowing terms as, "he is so intelligent and creative; so articulate and humorous, such a delight to have in class."  And then to go to the next teacher to hear, "he has a smart mouth on him, is disruptive and doesn't follow directions."  Obviously some of the teachers admired his intelligence and clever wit while others were threatened by those same qualities.

He earned his Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do.
(A great discipline and esteem booster for any youngster.
I highly recommend it.)

His first rappelling experience at Devil's Lake.
He loved it and impressed the heck out of his fellow scouts with his nerve and skill.

High school, perhaps the last time his curly hair was trimmed and well-trained.
The very picture of the clean-cut all-American boy.

Today, our son is a very successful adult, a wonderfully accepting, tolerant and caring man.  He is compassionate and courageous.  He is a wonderful person and we love him so very much.



troutbirder said...

Happy birthday. Your mom and dad have every reason to be proud....:)

The Bug said...

Sounds like he had the right parents for his personality :) Happy birthday to him!

Taradharma said...

He was born to the right parents, that's for sure. Delightful to see him grow up in these photos. Isn't it the greatest joy to be proud of our offspring? Happy Birthday to him!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Son of Mountain Woman.

Peruby said...

Kudos to you! What a tribute. Happy Birthday!

Busy Bee Suz said...

I LOVE this birthday tribute. What a cutie pie he was, and I'm sure still is!!!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful birthday post to your much-loved son.

Vicki Lane said...

He sounds like a composite of my two boys -- happy birthday to him! And congratulations to you on raising a good un!

KGMom said...

YAY---NC & son. Love this post. It resonates on so many levels. The big wheel! The smiling/not-smiling photos. The sometimes difficult childhood/the wisdom of picking the right battles.
And the success of a good son.
Well-done, mother & father & son.

Ginnie said...

what a nice tribute. I was born just 2 days before him and have always been partial to those people born in February... kindof feel like we're related !
HAPPY BIRTHDAY and many more.

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Proud mama! Happy birthday to your son.

Jayne said...

What a lovely post. Happy birthday to your sweet son.

Wayfarin' Stranger said...

He is mid-way in age between our two sons, and he sounds very much like our older son. I told folks I quit arguing with him when he was five because I didn't like losing arguments to a five-year-old. He's simply brilliant. Now he's a very likeable adult, husband, and father. I still don't argue with him.