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5/01/2009

25 Today

A little over a year ago, his grandfather died. The only grandfather he'd ever known. During that time, in a conversation we were having, we touched briefly on the subject of MY mortality. The reaction in him was immediate and profound. It wasn't a subject to pursue. That was emphatically obvious. That was the first time I really SAW the love in my adult son for me.

I remember the little boy's love. The kid I used to carry around by the straps of his bib overalls. The kid with the fine blond hair that looked like he was bald until he was four. The kid who wanted to go to Kindergarten in his little sport coat, white shirt and tie. The kid who took a derelict motorcycle COMPLETELY apart and rebuilt it, so that it started the first time he tried it. The kid we wound up homeschooling through high school, all because of that girl. The kid who went with me to Ireland, and, as a 16 year old young man subject to his father's strange sense of humor, got drunk on Bulmer's Cider.

Over time, as kids grow up and parents, too, the 'Love' mellows, sort of similar to the way the love between parents mellows. The 'Love' isn't as demonstrative as it is with little kids. It just 'IS'. But you're always preparing and moving toward the day when the love will be at a distance; when they will leave home. So you let the love BE less demonstrative.

But sometimes, just sometimes, something will happen that will throw some light on the love that's there, and that's what happened on that day. It has become a most treasured memory for me. I'll never forget the look in his eyes.

Today my #2 Son, my earth child, my trap shooting, paintballing, guitar playing, motorcycle riding Alexander is 25 years old. I am incredibly, indescribably proud of him. And I love him way more than he could ever love me.

Happy Birthday, Son.

Ndinombethe.

P.S. I have written a guest post for Sandy at Momisodes. Drop by and say 'Hi!"

27 comments:

Jientje said...

Happy Birthday Alexander!!!

This is a wonderful, touching tribute from a loving father to his son. Beautiful memories, and the love shines through. Have a great day celebrating, 25 is such a beautiful age!

Momisodes said...

I cannot remember reading such a heartfelt and moving tribute to a son. As always, your words and recounts tell us so much more about your love and pride as a father.

Wishing Alexander a very Happy Birthday!

p.s. Many, many thanks for guest posting today :)

NicoleB said...

Sniffle, this is more than sweet.
Happy birthday, Alex!

witchypoo said...

Beauty, Lou. Happy 25th, A!

Estelle said...

There is a #2 son Alex in my family too. He's the middle son and on cue, is the black sheep (Alexander's are a bit special.)

If only he could have a father with such insight and love for him as your Al does.

A father that celebrates his child's individuality and uniqueness of spirit rather than vainly searching for himself always in his spawn and when he can't find it, creating a befuddled distance might have launched our Alex boldly into the world.

Instead he makes his tentative steps, he's doing Ok, he'll be right.

Happy 25th to your son.

moneythoughts said...

Beautiful words Lou. I can only echo what the ladies before me have already said. Your sons are very fortunate to have a father like you. And, even though I have never met them, I am sure they know it. Happy 25th Alex!

Myst_72 said...

Happy Birthday Alex :)

That was so lovely Lou,

made me miss my Dad....

G
xx

OHmommy said...

one of the most loveliest tributes ever written from a father to his son.

sending you a very happy birthday wish to your son.

Shadow said...

you are simply glowing with pride. happy 25th to alexander from me!!!

Employee No. 3699 said...

A Big Ole Happy Birthday to Alexander!

Lou, great post.

Mrs F with 4 said...

What they all said...

and waterproof mascara is no match for your words.

Nan said...

*sniff* that was lovely, Lou. Happy Birthday, Alexander!

Ingot said...

I loved my father, but he was ill prepared for me.

He was a first child, and a product of the 40's and 50's. He was very sure of what was "right" and what you "just did" because it was right.

I was a youngest, and a child of the 60's and 70's. I was odd, free-thinking, and unconventional.

I was a geek. He didn't understand me.

I, however, lived in his basement finishing my degree for the last two year of my father's life. We got rid of all the childhood wounds, and were good friends before he died.

A son should never lose his father before that happens. I'm glad you and your sons have already taken care of that.

Emily/Randomability said...

Happy Birthday #2 & Happy Birthing day to Annie. :)

Ingot said...

Psychicgeek is posting again Lou, I know you followed her blog previously.

Michael said...

Luke is just gone 14 and when I look back from him being a two year old who thought his dad was superman.
that was a lovely piece of writing as always, and i am sure your earth child must be so proud of his dad.
hey im glad my little post cheered u up and made u laugh thats what lifes about.
just got home myself and took my two dogs out for a walk with luke, tommorow is another bowling match and cook a curry, mow the lawn.
sunday a long walk and we got monday off as well, do u get monday off too

Tara R. said...

You old softy. I think you both are very lucky to have each other. I know of this love you speak of... sometimes with your older kids, it's enough to just 'be.'

Indigo said...

Happy 25th to your son dear one! It sounds like he knows what a treasure he truly has in you. I would of given my right arm to have known a dad like you in my lifetime. (Hugs)Indigo

Jac said...

Happy Birthday to your son!

I'm a new reader; found my way from your fabulous haiku over at Momisodes!

Mortality (and the discussion there of) really helps us to come to a different spot with our parents. I learned that at 22 when my own father was faced with the option of a heart transplant. Turned my world upside down, but brought a new sort of love out.

What a wonderful tribute to your son this entry is! (Ok, I'll shut up now!)

Maggie's Mind said...

Absolutely beautiful. Happy Birthday to Alexander!

FrankandMary said...

This is the kind of post I happen upon & get all emotional, but then realize it is a good emotional.

You are a lovely "story(life)" teller.
~Mary

Sharon said...

*Through teary-eyes* - what a beautiful tribute. Happy birthday to your son!

Joyce-Anne said...

Happy Belated Birthday Alexander! I hope you had a great day!

Jennifer said...

lou,

i'm speachless. this was beautiful. and i love how you described every detail of exactly what happens between a child and parent. :)

happy belated birthday to your awesome son, who is much like his awesome dad!

xoxoxo

Patsy said...

Missed reading yesterday so I'm late responding to this wonderful tribute to your son. I've seen that look of love in my daughters' eyes -- it is to be treasured. When the love they have for you is so deep that the thought of losing you is beyond their imagination. Yes, I've seen that look.

And I had wondered who Momisodes would have for a guest host. Not surprised it is you. I'm going there now to read what you said at her place.

Loraine said...

Beautiful read. Thanks.

Hyphen Mama said...

Turning 25 is huge! I hope his day was perfect.