Monday, October 01, 2007

happy birthday, little man.

happy birthday, little man.
happy birthday, little man.,
originally uploaded by urban mama.
I’m gonna tell my son to grow up pretty as the grass is green
And whip-smart as the English Channel’s wide...

Liz Phair, “Whip-Smart”

Mr. Guy,

I cried when the nurses put you on my chest for the first time. Maybe it was because I wasn’t expecting you for another two weeks. Maybe it was because your sister - all 21 months of her - was present for your birth since the sitter came down with strep and was sitting in an emergency room waiting for treatment. And maybe it was because it was the start of an incredibly complex relationship between me and you, mother and son. You were born when a show called “The Sopranos” was big and that deals with the ramifications of a twisted mother/son relationship, among other things. You’re not allowed to watch it until you’re at least 18, by the way. I don't need you going all AJ on me.

I promise you that I will never hold you back from what you want to do, unless I sense that what you’re about to do has nothing to do with what you feel in your heart but more about what other people are telling you to do. I had a friend once whose mother was slowly dying of cancer. He wanted to move across the country to live out a dream but didn’t want to leave her. She made him go, saying that it would be selfish of her to keep him tethered when he had an entire life to life. That’s how I feel about you and your sister. You have grand opportunities waiting to be seized. Don’t hold back.

For now, as you turn the Important Age of Two, I will delight in your open mouthed kisses, your tackle hugs, your fake whiny cry which sounds a little like a broken ambulance siren, your anger at being thwarted from causing yourself real bodily harm, your willingness to try anything on my plate - even the garnish, your persistence and patient determination in opening doors you’re not supposed to open, and your mischevious, grabbing life by the balls, joyful disposition. In the words of Marge Simpson, you’re my special little guy. And yes, you can watch “The Simpsons” before you’re 18. It’ll probably still be running.

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