Sunday, January 30, 2011

Candle Power

As a parent you know that your children have grown far beyond the boundaries of "childhood" when you wonder not whether your daughter shall read your birthday wish to her written here. Rather you wonder whether she shall read it upon arriving home in this morning's wee small hours from last night's celebratory decadence or wait until early this afternoon......after she wakes up. Either way, today remains what it is: Suzanne's birthday. Here's to hoping honey that you have a wonderful, happy one. You most assuredly deserve it.

The combination of the ever-graying hair on my head and in my beard and the ever-deepening lines (crevices seems to be a more apt description) on my face reinforces the fact that while I did not opt in to the Parenthood game at the moment of inception, I have nevertheless been at it for quite some time. And the successes that I have witnessed Suz and Rob grow up to become reinforces the fact that the time I spent driving the car, ensuring that we had sufficient money in the bank to do those things that needed to be done and otherwise staying the hell out of the way so Margaret could shepherd their growth appropriately was time well-spent.

Occasionally, Suz and Margaret are so close to one another that they are too close to see just how much alike they actually are. Margaret carries with her in this world the gifts and all of the best things she took from Suzy B. and the lifetime spent with her and at her side. Suz, whether always cognizant of it, carries all of the best of her mother/my wife with her on her day-to-day. One is the greatest living testament to the other.

At age twenty-six, Suz is itching to stretch her wings and head out on her own completely. Methinks that this birthday shall be the final one she spends as a resident of "under my roof". It is, I think, probably time for her to go - although both my wife and my daughter will weep like infants on Moving Day (a fact that the former already is acutely aware of and - I suspect - that the latter is in deep denial about) - regardless of the fact that neither the Missus nor I are coercing her into doing so. Suz is one of the brightest human beings I have ever had the pleasure of knowing (up there in the pantheon of 'scary smart' right alongside my brother Bill and my old high-school classmate Dave Russ) so whether the voice inside of my head and my heart is in agreement with her own on this issue matters not. As a parent often times the most important thing you can do for your child - irrespective of age - is say nothing. Decisions ultimately must be entrusted to those who are directly impacted by them. Worse than being wrong about something is being afraid to be wrong. Far worse.

Sooner rather than later I suspect we shall help her carry boxes down the stairs and into either the trunk of her car or the back of a U-Haul truck or some such conveyance. And soon thereafter both it and she shall be gone. Well, that is not entirely accurate. Not at all. For whether your child is here or there or someplace else altogether, they remain where they have always been. They remain firmly inside your heart. And you carry them with you forever. Wherever you are. Wherever they go.

Happy Birthday Suz. Be happy. Be safe.....

.....whatever road you choose.

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