This is my baby. My 5'7" baby who started out his life at 20" long (please note that we measure babies like fish and it's only once they pass 3 feet tall that they get the dignity of a foot-inch measurement). He is now officially 14 after having longed for that number for over 6 months. Once, when he was 5 or 6, he told me he didn't want to get any older. He wanted to stay my little boy forever. I told him as gently as I could then, that there was no way to stay 5 or 6 and still be alive - that living meant getting older. That made him sad, but he said he'd go ahead and grow up if he had to.
These days, he can't wait to get older. As soon as he turned 14, he started talking about getting a job and how he can't wait to turn 16 so he could drive and date. As thrilled as I am about him growing up, I'm a little sad too. He doesn't need or want my help much anymore. He's happy when we have to leave him home alone. I am glad he's turning into a self-sufficient person. Really! And when it's time for him to walk out the door, I hope I can wave gaily and save my tears for after the door has closed.
On the same day my boy turned 14, my marriage turned 18. 18 years ago on that very same date, Darling Man and I walked back up the aisle at Ruge Hall's Chapel of the Resurrection after being pronounced "Man and Wife" by Fr. Harry Douglas, Jr. It really was a resurrection for me, of sorts. After having one bad marriage, I knew I loved Darling Man but wasn't so sure I'd be able to do this marriage thing. Turns out I could! 18 years later, we still look at each other in disbelief at our good fortune in finding each other.
This year's celebration of the Anniversary/Birthday was a little different from the usual. Darling Man's father was still in the hospital after having had his hip replacement repaired and there had been a few setbacks. He and his brother and sister-in-law and I were now taking turns watching over our mother/-in-law who has Alzheimers. We now have a new-found knowledge of the hero my father-in-law has been in taking care of her. Anniversary Day was one of our days with her, so she tagged along for our celebratory dinner.
She absolutely adores our boy and had fun watching him and his dad shoot straw covers at each other and toasting the day with chocolate milk (ZBoy) and iced tea (MIL).
For dessert, Z had the most disgusting thing... it was a Maple/Bacon milkshake! The very idea made my skin crawl, but I did taste it out of curiosity. Surprisingly, it didn't taste like anything at all! I'm not sure how that could be, but he seemed to be enjoying it.
Afterwards, very satisfied guys sat around and stroked their real and imaginary beards while we women looked on in amusement. Crazy guys.
It wasn't the most romantic of days, but this is where we are right now. Living life and taking whatever is thrown at us together.
On second thought... that's VERY romantic.