They are good boys, those boys. As they make the inevitable march to adulthood, they become good men. Respectful. Appreciative. A tad too perfectionist. Fastidious. Eager-to-please. Strong. Leaders. Loving. Perhaps a bit too shy. Mature. Responsible. At ease with adults. Perhaps less at ease with peers. Thoughtful. An over-thinker. Capable.
That first-born son of mine turned 17 yesterday. Born on a Sunday in 1996, we celebrated his 17th birthday on another Sunday. My heart bursts with pride at who this (not-so) tiny baby, born against the odds, has turned out to be. And while I'll forevermore be known just as "Mom," he having aged out of calling me "Mom-mom" a dozen years ago, he will be forevermore known to me as the first person to give true meaning to my life.
* * *Yesterday, on our way to pick up Eldest from his birthday weekend sojourn down to the best aunt in the world's home in Santa Monica, Pete and I stopped to have amazing dim sum with two amazing women. We talked of the sandwich generation that we have become, at this stage in our lives. Pete made me cry when he talked of the love a son has for his mother. Pete still has that love for his dear Mum, gone too many years already.
I was too choked up to talk of the love his Mum, and all good mothers, have for their precious sons. (Please don't take that to mean we don't fiercely love our daughters as well.)
I am quadruply blessed with this family I have. I am an awful person to have as a mother: forceful, dictatorial, precise, exacting. But my love for them all sustains me and uplifts me.
Happy birthday, Eldest.