My Punkin Boy turned 24 a little more than an hour ago. I told him that his birth was the best day of my life.
And it really was.
He was a great kid and is turning into a fine, fine man. He was what is known as a happy baby. Until his teen years, he was a constant bright light in my life. Those couple of years he grappled with hormones were a source of fretting for me – I wanted for him to make the right choices and he just wanted to be cool. It all worked out in the end, but mamas fret. [I’m in the market for grandbabies, so if any of y’all have a fine, fine woman of the appropriate age for childbearing shoot me an email.]
Chef Boy ‘R Mine’s birthday celebrations over the years have been a source of great fun for all of us. His first birthday, of course, was the most spectacular. It’s a damn shame that he probably can’t remember it.
It was a beautiful June 15th. His parents and maternal grandparents were in attendance. He sure had fun, but we had more. As the only child and only grandchild, he hauled in the loot. Punkin Boy’s birthdays, Halloween trick’o’treating, sports mania and Christmas gifting was a source of great delight for all of us. He was the root source of the delight and his fun with those events just made us all smile, giggle, and guffaw.
Since his first birthday, I have hung balloons over his bed in the middle of the night so that when he woke in the morning he would have a colorful, immediate surprise that set the tone for his birthday. Until the year he turned 20, I hadn’t missed a one.
In 2005, he moved to Florida to begin his brilliant career as Chef Boy ‘R Mine. I couldn’t get there that year, but made arrange-ments for my mother to do the balloon thing on her visit there. After that, I managed every year but 2006. That year I couldn’t do it and she couldn’t do it and the boy was balloonless. He probably didn’t mind, but I hate that he didn’t have that visual representation of my joy of his birth.
He moved to Charlotte a couple of months ago and, once again, I can’t get there to do the balloons, but my mom can. At about noon today, she will inflict the balloon thing on him. I had to actively discourage her from doing it in a really embarrassing way – he’s still overly solicitous of his dignity and angry-young-man persona.
I love this young man. I’m his mom and I’m supposed to, but nonetheless I think he and I have something special going on.
On this day, I want him to understand that my love for him is unconditional, my respect for him is huge, and the joy he brings me continues. I wish for him a bright future (and lots of kids). I hope that we always remain close.
Happy birthday, Punkin.