Just as I will have taken my first sip of
coffee on the morning of January 19th, and sat down to dial it myself, the
telephone will ring. "Doggone it," I'll smile and think, "He beat me to it
Then, the dearest voice on earth will come online and say,
"Happy Birthday, Mom."
My son has been performing this miracle of
perfect timing for years, he even managed to get a call to me from the Middle
East, when serving his Army stint there. No, I am not going to be a year older
on that morning, he will. As a child, Giles figured out that his natal day had
been the most important one of my life, and he has acknowledged that ever since.
Every year, he makes me a thank-you note for having had him.
year, the celebration will be a special one, my boy will be thirty-five. Okay,
so thirty-five is no boy. You know, of course, that mothers never lose the habit
of seeing their offspring as little ones, no matter how old they
Did you love to eat Snickerdoodles at age three? G-d
willing, we'll still be baking them when you are forty. This is not a refusal to
recognize the tastes of your maturity, but rather a desire to see that same
simple joy on your face again.
There is something else as well. In
those early days, we were possessed of magical talents. My, it was nice to be a
heroine. Did monsters threaten in the night? We could roust them with a lullaby.
Were schoolyard troubles really bad? Somehow, we could soothe your spirits
with cookies and milky tea. Dire illness? Hey, anything could be cured
with chicken soup. Those are indeed memories of glory.
Now, my son
is as old as I was then, and on the cusp of middle-age. Yes, I know that middle
age seems to be arriving later all the time. Back then, it was thirty-five, now
it's said to be fifty. No matter what you call it, he will be in a new stage of
The little one I healed with chicken soup grew up to become a
physician. A few days ago, it took him only a few seconds with an injection to
ease some of my arthritis. In gardens where I once took his hand to keep him
safe, he now pushes my wheelchair.
Aging is a wonderful process. My
life is richer now, and I have the time to enjoy its beauties. Gone are the
fears of those days when I had to be right for both of us. These days, if I make
a mistake, it is mine alone, and I'll get past it.
What remains is
love and gratitude. Happy Birthday, Son. I'm so glad to be your
Copyright 2009 Eddy Robey