I started writing a lengthy post about my oldest child. I was going to tell you what a handsome young man he is. But I decided to simply let you see for yourself.
I was going to tell you that he was an adorable, bright-eyed, inquisitive and happy little boy, but decided to show you instead.
I planned to brag about what a wonderful big brother he is to MattieBoo, but concluded that these photos would demonstrate the point.
He is also quite a prankster, as this photo illustrates:
Occasionally, he sets a bad example for his younger brother, encouraging him to misbehave.
Like all parents, there are times when I wish he would be a bit more ambitious. As on this Sunday afternoon when he was not particularly enthusiastic about assisting with laundry.
But to be fair, there have been times when he has been forced to be a good sport.
I believe that true character is revealed by the manner in which an individual treats his/her elders. #1Son always cared for his grandmothers without having to be asked to assist . . . and misses them terribly.
In June 2001, #1Son found Buddy via the Pets ‘n’ Pals website and absolutely insisted that we pay a visit to the shelter the next morning to meet him. We only agreed in order to pacify him. But I’ll never forget his reaction when the manager got very excited because we were there to consider adopting Buddy, whom she termed “the saddest little dog in the shelter.” #1Son looked at me with his “I told you so” expression and I knew that Buddy would be the newest member of the family.
It is hard to believe that yesterday he celebrated his 22nd birthday. Like all mothers, I miss the days when he used to run to me the moment he glimpsed my arrival at his school or a friend’s house to pick him up. Occasionally, when he is speaking, I remember the higher-pitched little boy voice that used to call out for “Mama!” instead of the manly one that booms “Mother!” or, when he’s feeling snarky, “Juanita,” from the other end of the house. When he hugs me, I recall how shocked I was the first time I realized that he had grown as tall as me: He grinned proudly as we noted that we were looking at each other exactly at eye level.
As he walks around the house with Patrick Dempsey-esque stubble, I am reminded of the day my mother stroked his chubby little cheeks as she rocked him, saying, “Just think . . . some day he’ll be shaving these soft little cheeks.” My sister and I groaned and rolled our eyes in exasperation, saying, “Oh, good grief, Mother, he’s just a baby! Give us a break!” But now I understand that she knew how fast the time would pass. If she were here, she’d laugh and tell us — yet again — “See? You girls should have listened to your old mother!”
#1Son, along with his brother, groans and rolls his eyes at me just as I did my own mother, especially when I do “The Time Warp” on Halloween, turn up the volume when a disco anthem is played on the radio, reminisce about things that happened before he was born, or reach up and pinch his stubbly cheeks just to annoy him. He thrives on his unfailing ability to drive his father bonkers. I frequently hear BigBob complain that he’s “just like your mother!” It’s true. While MattieBoo is a virtual duplicate of his dad, #1Son definitely favors my side of the family. He looks like and has my father’s mannerisms, but views the world much the way I do and undeniably has my temperament. That’s probably why the things we enjoy doing together include watching “The Daily Show,” “The Colbert Report,” “Real Time with Bill Maher,” and Penn and Teller’s series on Showtime.
But also like me, BigBob would not change a thing about our #1Son. Like his brother, he is a gift from God.