Despite my best efforts to slow down - to catch and savor the sweet surprises of each day - the hours, the minutes, the days, and even the years are beginning to blur.
I'm actually having a tough time remembering how old my kids are!
I swear Daniel just turned 27, but I blinked, and now somehow he's 28. He didn't want a celebration and treated the day as any other, getting up and going to work and declining my suggestion that we all go somewhere for dinner in Austin because it would mean a late night and he had to get up early for work.
Yes, my kids have grown up.
I'm glad he at least took his big brother up on an offer for a late lunch/early dinner. Moms always hope and pray their kids will not only get along, but actually enjoy each other's company, so it made me happy to see this photo on Facebook ... even though they didn't invite me to join them. Ahem.
I was busy making Cyclops Cookies, anyway. After the year we've had, I couldn't let the day go by without doing something special to acknowledge it. So I made an appointment with myself in the kitchen, ignored calls and emails, and made way too many cookies for just the four of us.
Tomorrow I'll shove healthy eating in the closet again when I fry up his favorite meal - Jim Linton's Chicken Tenders. (The recipe is from a friend of ours, so the name stuck.) It's a huge flour-y, greasy ordeal, so I only make them for special occasions, and when I have enough time to scrub the whole kitchen afterwards.
It's worth it though, if it helps me express how much I appreciate him just being alive, and his thoughtful, caring soul that led him to stop and visit Mama on his way home from work at least once a week, even though that meant he wouldn't get home or eat dinner until close to 9 pm.
It meant so much to her for him to visit, and it helped ease my mind on the rare days I wasn't able to stop and check on her to know he would fill in for me.
And then to have him and TG stick beside me for hours as Mama made her way home to heaven and Daddy... it made me proud and humble and grateful, all at the same time.
I feel honored and so truly blessed for the privilege of watching him and all of my kids grow up. They aren't perfect, thank goodness (what fun would that be?) ... but somehow, despite all the mistakes I made as their mom (and still make!) they are really, really, really good human beings.
Celebrating the day they were born - the day I became their mom - well, that is truly a chance I can't pass up.
Happy 28th birthday, Daniel! I hope the coming year is the best ever for you, that all of the blessings and care and thoughtfulness you bestow on others comes back to you a hundredfold!
You don't raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they'll turn out to be heroes, even if it's just in your own eyes.
~Walter M. Schirra, Sr.