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November 24, 2009

My Son Is Thirty! How Is That Possible?

Son Remember when you turned thirty!  It was momentous – huge.  Maybe you had a big party, or a small discrete one, but we all were aware what thirty meant.  People “our age” ran around yelling, “Never trust anyone over thirty!”  That was always stupid, of course.  But it doesn’t mean that thirty wasn’t tough.

Well, my baby turned 30 on this month – as a remarkable, independent, creative, funny and honorable man and has been away from home (across the country, actually) for a long time.  But he's still my only youngest child. 

It was a landmark for him, and he had a great day, I think, while I spent much of that day in a state of astonishing gratitude.

That face would be enough, right?  The amazing thing is that for every smile, grin, laugh, great story, amazing artwork, funny home-made Halloween costume (How many second-graders dress up as Agent Cooper from Twin Peaks, after all?) there are a hundred more.  He's a wealth of wonders.

I have so many friends who are close to his age, or younger, and I've often tried to describe what it feels like to see a beloved boy grow into a fine, honorable, creative, funny, loving and talented man.  But they're worrying about other things and being the parent of an adult seems an eternity away.  

I could tell many stories about the little boy up there and the man, too, but they are his stories to tell.  I'm here, rather, to tell you, and myself, one more time, about my own sense of the pure honor of being a parent and riding along as our kids find their way.  Through good times and bad, success and ... not so much .... their presence is a blessing. 

So.  Here I am, in adequately trying to tell people -- who already know the wonders of parenthood -- about someone they've never met.  Because, as he enters his 31st year, I'm just so glad I know him.

Happy birthday Dan.

Cynthia Samuels is Managing Editor, Causes, at Care2 .  A version of this post appeared on her blog  Don’t Gel too Soo