Today is my son’s birthday. I didn’t know how long it would take for him to get a card so I sent it in plentiy of time. It arrived about five days too soon. I’ll probably send him another email card in a few hours when he is at work. For a while I called him at 7:35 in the morning. That’s the time he was born. He is thirteen hours ahead of me. I don’t call Japan.
I’m not sure I can even remember that last time we shared his actual birthday on October 1. For the last eight years he has not even been in this state. For the past six years, he hasn’t even been in this country. I think I remember going to his new apartment a couple of days later the year after he graduated from college. He found one close to twenty miles away from this home so he could be close to his job on the opposite side of the metroplex. He cooked dinner. I sent a cake to him and it was still sitting there with no more than one piece cut out of it. He doesn’t (or didn’t) really care that much for cake.
His junior year in college I bought him a cake and delivered it to him in the middle of a frat party in the park. At least that year I’m almost certain most of it got eaten.
You’d think with just one son I’d remember more of his birthdays. His freshman year in high school he had wanted to go to a military school in Indiana. I found a bakery that would deliver to the school.
He’s not a little boy any more. He is now the age my ex was when he was born. At that time, my ex thought he was too old to be having another child. I hope my son doesn’t feel the same way. He used to talk about wanting kids, but that topic doesn’t come up with me very much any more. At least if he does decide to have kids, I am hoping he does it the old fashioned way and marries first, although neither he nor his girlfriend are in any way practitioners of any religion. He mentioned they’d just go down to the local “city hall” or the registry or whatever they have over in Japan and have a ten minute civil ceremony. I’m not sure that would be worth flying thirteen hours to Tokyo to witness. I’d like to see his girlfriend in a kimono in a traditional ceremony even if I wouldn’t be able to understand it. I haven’t gotten the idea that that’s going to happen any time soon.
I’d like to be a grandmother, but currently my son is living in Japan for the second year. If he were to marry over there, I’d probably very seldom get to see my grandkids anyway. I have friends tell me all the time what their grandkids are doing. They are enjoying being a part of their lives. I just smile and listen a little jealously.
I was born after all four of my grandparents had passed away. There was always a part of me that wondered what it would have been like to have them in my lives. Now a part of me may always wonder what it would have been like to have grandchildren in my life as well. It’s not as easy to rock a monitor and sing to a computer no matter how life size the image is on the screen. I have kept the rocking chair that was in my son’s nursery waiting for just such a chance to use it again.
I’ve known since before my son was even two that I had a wanderer on my hands. We had gone camping and I had not put the cooler away into the closet yet. It was still on the opposite side of the room from the door. This room was a converted two car garage with thick shag carpeting. I was on a calling committee at that time and I made my calls secure in the knowledge that all the doors were locked.
My mommy alarm went off when I realized I wasn’t hearing any normal little boy sounds. Just as I stood up to seek him out, I happened to look out the dining room window. There coming up the walk was Maxine’s son leading a naked little kid back home. In his effort to be free, he wanted to be totally free. There was absolutely NO identification on the kid.
I rushed to the door. My son had managed to escape. He had figured out that he could drag the cooler across the floor. By standing as high as he could on his tiptoes, he was able to unlock the door. He had run down the street and was clear down by the entrance to our little subdivision when my neighbor spotted him and stopped to pick him up. That’s about two blocks from the house. I know that’s how he escaped because I had him stand on the cooler and I raised his arm. It was too far from the lock until he showed me how he did it. He wasn’t even speaking in complete sentences yet!
He has always felt the need to be free, to explore. He lived in Switzerland for four years and saw almost all of the large cities in Europe during that time. Last year he decided to move on to see the Asian culture. He can do that more easily by being based in Japan. Of course his wandering ways are still causing me concern. It’s not easy to take my dog for a walk on New Year’s Day and come home to a message on the answering machine, “Don’t worry, Mom, the bombing was not in this area of town.” He happened to be in Bankock, Thailand at the time over Christmas vacation.
It was an axious few days before he let me know he was safely back in Switzerland.
I’ve tried to let him be an adult man, but maybe some of you mothers can identify with the feelings of loving that precious little child. He will always have my love and affection regardless of how old he gets. The next time you are home for your birthday, I’ll bake you another cake. This one was a success. I can do it again. Happy Birthday, Son. As for the rest of you…Namaste y’ll. Have a great day! Attic Annie