I've been traveling back in time via memories today, helped along by dusty baby books and photo albums. It's Daniel's 21st birthday.
I'll see him in person tomorrow night. Tom and I will head downtown and take him out to eat. I'll also surprise him with the not-so-healthy "fruit" of last night's labor - hours of my labor - one of his favorite treats...Cyclops Cookies. (He doesn't read my blog very often, so I'm not worried about spoiling the surprise. And he'll enjoy them just as much even if they aren't a surprise!)
Tonight I'm flipping through pages, seeing him change before my eyes in minutes - changes a mother doesn't really notice until it's time to shop for new shoes and you realize their body has grown with their feet, and that somehow, suddenly, they're looking down at you instead of up.
I wonder if I'll notice any changes tomorrow night? It's been a couple of weeks since I've seen him.
Probably not. Changes at this age are mostly inside, not easily noticed by parents who continue to see their children with "parent" eyes. I'm guilty of this, I know. "Daniel, don't forget to go to church....Daniel, don't forget to exercise...Daniel, STUDY!"
But, that being said, now that I'm thinking about it, there have been changes in Daniel...in his voice, his choice of words, his attitude...I realize that somehow, suddenly, he has grown out of childhood and slipped into adulthood.
I'm aware of Melancholy peeking over my shoulder as I glance through the photographs of Daniel at birth...crawling...on his first birthday...
Don't get me wrong...I'm glad Daniel's growing up - after all, I'm his mother and I want what's best for him...if you never grow up, your chances of having a relatively happy, successful, rewarding life get pretty slim. But still...Daniel is funny. He's sweet. He's honest. He's goofy. He's thoughtful. He's creative. I pray he doesn't think these are childhood things to be put away.
I think tomorrow night I'll remind him of Madeleine L'Engle's words..."The great thing about getting older is you don't lose all the other ages you've been."
A year ago today..."My Lucky 13 Baby"
Twenty-one years ago today...preparing to meet Daniel and holding him for the very first time...
A blink of an eye and a year later (and tonight, just a few pages later...) he's off and running, ready to discover the world. He hasn't stopped yet and I hope he never does...
Happy, happy 21st birthday, Daniel!! I can't wait to see what happens next!