Published 1/16/2009
by Eddy Robey M.A.
  Issue: 10.01
A Birthday Celebration
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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 again."
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.
This 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 become.
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 life.
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 mother.
Copyright 2009 Eddy Robey

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