So, yeah...the Man-Cub turned twelve years old, today.
He bounced out of bed at six a.m., raced downstairs to open his cards and to run an appreciative hand over the new bike that Hugh and I got for him and then casually informed me that this birthday makes him officially a pre-teen.
When I came to, I kissed the Cub goodbye and sent him off for what I’m certain will be a fun-filled day at school because, let’s face it; wherever goes the Man-Cub, thus goes the fun, it’s like a law of nature or something.
As I sit here, now, struggling to write something that the Cub may or may not look back on years from now, something that conveys how special he is to me, I rifle through old pictures for inspiration; it’s tough to adequately describe the pride that we feel for our children, the fierce love that we hold for them, the fear in our hearts each and every time we allow them to do something as simple as walking out the door to begin a new day and yet the difficulty comes not from having too few words to describe those things but in having too many. Sorting through the millions of reasons why I love this child overwhelms my brain’s ability to express itself.
The best that I can hope for is that the Cub will know, that he will just intuitively know how much having him in our lives has enriched us. How his sense of humor, his kindness, his adorable and unique wackiness make each day of our lives richer and more complete. How his infuriating habit of leaving dirty socks on the couch or his tendency to absent-mindedly leave his athletic cup in the most random places (like the kitchen windowsill) at once, baffle and delight us. How his never-ending supply of fart jokes and his ability to burp the Pledge of Allegiance amuse us and how proud we are at the bottomless well of compassion that he has for animals, smaller children and old women (I suppose it comes as no surprise that old women find him equally adorable); perhaps he will just know these things. Perhaps he won’t.
On the off-chance that he doesn’t, I suppose the best way to sum it up is merely to say, “I love you, Cubby. I love you every day of your life, every inch of your body from the tips of your toes to the top of your unruly head of hair, I love you.”
Also, while I very much appreciate your recent promise to look after me in my old age, even going so far as to say that I can come and live with you when I am old and feeble and you are happily married and secure; the day that you do stand at the end of that aisle, waiting for your bride? This is what I am going to see.
I don’t care how old you are.
Happy birthday, baby.