My oldest son (hence Ichiban; Japanese for #1) has a birthday this week. He will be 33! This is more unbelievable to me than when my youngest son turned 30 and I had 2 sons in their 30s. I have a much greater appreciation for what my parents experienced when all of their kids were now in their 50s!
How does this happen?!? They’re born; they finally start school; you survive the teenage years; get them through college; launched into their adult lives; marry (or not); have kids (or not)…and you realize they are the age you were when you finally came up for air and realized you, yourself, were an adult and going through all of the motions of being an adult. It’s a weird phenomenon. Almost like an out-of-body experience.
Families have their own crossover theory: you are the parent and he is the child; you are an adult and he is an adult; you are the aging parent (I’m not there yet!) and he is the caregiver…the cycle of life. Although my sons have threatened me more than once with Shady Pines!
My oldest son came to stay with me after I got home from the hospital with my ankle replacement. I had some muscles worked on on my right leg and the left ankle was replaced. It was a big and brutal surgery. I came home with a boot on the right leg, a cast on the left, a walker and wheelchair. Just to remind me who really was in control, he would threaten to wheel me right down the street to Shady Pines! Still cracks me up. Actually, both of my sons continuously bless their step-father for taking me off their hands!
I have really enjoyed every phase of my sons’ lives. There is so much wonder seeing them develop into their own persons: interests, mannerisms, life views. Both my sons are incredible storytellers, but my oldest son can create the most amusing tales from everyday events. Before you know it, you’re laughing so hard you can’t breathe!
Life really is too short to be taken too seriously. The penance of being a preacher’s kid is all of those worship services…among other things! They’ve had some really interesting experiences because of my work which will eventually make their way to this blog, I’m sure.
But what’s coming to mind as I write this, is when they used to run the sound at the church. The soundboard was set up in the back of the church. They were responsible for managing the mics and making sure the volume was high enough for the older parishioners to hear me without creating feedback. It truly was an art form. One Sunday morning, I look up from my hymnal to see them performing like backup singers, complete with dance moves! It was all I could do to not bust out laughing! This was just one of their creative antics to stay engaged in what was, I’m sure, a very boring obligation.
We have always been close and have a wonderful relationship. It it hard living so far away, but they both have their own lives to live. So, in the meantime, I’m grateful for technology: cellphones, texting, instant messaging, and video chat! And the mail. After all, gifts still must be sent.
Happy Birthday, Ichiban!