Monday, February 11, 2013
Happy 21st Birthday Son!
My little boy turns 21 today. And you know what that means...I'm freaking old! I chose to have kids when I was in my thirties after I had sowed my wild oats, after I had traveled, after I had done pretty much everything I wanted to do. I waited because I never wanted to feel like I "missed out." I waited because I wasn't ready to become a mother until then. I waited because I wanted to be the best mother I could be. I don't know if I achieved that status, but I can say my son has turned out to be the best son a mother could ask for. To say I am proud of the young adult he's become would be an understatement.
In an era where drugs, drinking, tattoos, piercings, and irresponsibility are the new norm, my son has chosen to not partake in any of those lifestyles. He has held the same job for three years and has been promoted as far as he could be without becoming a full time employee. It's not his choice that he isn't full time. He took longer to graduate than I had hoped, but he made it work for him and will have two degrees when he finishes in May...one in business and one in social sciences. He'll be the first to tell you that if it wasn't for me he probably wouldn't have those degrees...not because of the cost and my pushing him to get a degree, but because my son has a tendency to shut off his alarm and go back to bed! He does love his sleep. He plans to parlay the degrees into a full time position, preferably with the company he's with, but if not, at another local one. Unlike the girl, he has no desire to leave Roanoke. He likes the laid-back, less stress environment of this small town rather than the hustle bustle of the big city. And that's fine with me. In a town where it's hard to find workers to show up regularly, never mind competent to hold their job, he is an asset to any company.
I guess you could say he's a nerd. And I use that term in the most complimentary sense. Unlike others who think of turning 21 as the night they could get hammered, my son has no desire to even drink. When I went to Spencer Gifts to see if I could find him a "gag" one, there was absolutely nothing that would reflect his personality. A beer pong set? Ha, he wouldn't now what to do with it. Shot glasses with curse words on it? Not his style. What do you get a 21 year old who pretty much buys whatever he wants with his own money? I guess I could pay for his dental bill. Yes, he's been cursed with my mouth.
But he's been blessed too. He has a quick wit, is intelligent, respectful, and is a kind soul. I'll never forget when he was in elementary school and he freed a bunny that was held captive in a net fence while the other children threw rocks at it. He has never been a follower. He's always been a quiet leader. His friends look to him for advice. He's the one they call when they're stuck somewhere. He's the one who is the commander of scores of troops who are part of his team on some international internet game. He's the one who treats his younger sister with respect, and as a friend, not as a bothersome nuisance like some brothers feel towards their younger siblings. He's the one who has never called in sick to work, or suffered from a hangover. He's the one whose fellow workers say he's "going places."
I agree with them, but to me, he's the one who will always be my little boy that used to play with Thomas the Tank Engines, put all 50 states together in a puzzle reciting their names with a pacifier in his mouth, and stood in front of the television watching CMT while singing and dancing to "Blue Moon" by Chris Isaak.
Happy 21st birthday son...the best advice I can impart to you is keep on the track you're riding and you will go somewhere, as long as you don't sleep through it. And pssst...I still hear you singing in your room when you're wearing headphones, only now it's Ozzy. Thank you for hating rap and hip-hop music as much as I do. Your preference for rock makes me know I did something right. Love you!