Monday, January 30, 2012

Candle Power

I suppose that as a parent I do not need my own birthday to remind me of how old I am. I can measure my life through the use of Suz's and Rob's birthday. For while I sought refuge in law school to escape from hard math, even my rudimentary grasp of arithmetic permits me to understand that as they get older, I must be doing likewise. Looking at the reflection that stares back at me in the harsh light of 3:00 a.m. every morning, it appears as if I age a decade for every one of their years. As it should be I suppose. It is them after all - and not me - who each has a whole life ahead.

Today is Suzanne's birthday. I was not present at either the moment of conception or the moment of arrival. I would like to think however that I have been there for most of the big ones since. There have been countless great ones and one or two....well, let us just call them less than great ones and leave it at that. The good stuff far outweighs the bad.

This is the first birthday Suz is spending in her new, adopted home state of Texas. We used to needle her about the fact that unlike her brother (who essentially has not lived 'home' since his second year of college) we were going to have to include her in the listing when we put the house up for sale (4 bedroooms, 2.5 baths, Central Air and 1 Adult Child). And then in early November she came home and announced she was moving to Houston. Her car was packed and she was Texas-bound by the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

There are times when it feels as if it has been much less than sixty days since she moved to Texas. There are far more times when it feels as if it has been much longer than that. There is a decidedly different vibe in the house without her in it.

I wonder if it has occurred to her yet that her success in Texas forging her own way in life comes as exactly no surprise at all to Margaret and me. We have known always what she knows now, which is that anything she sets out to achieve, she can. She is her mother's daughter after all.

In honor of her birthday, we decided to send her something a bit kitschy. We gathered up the troops in a place near and dear to Suz's heart - not to mention a place to which she went to extraordinary lengths to keep Rosie, Dempsey and Boo from - and took a group picture:

The note that went along with the photo said, "Wish You Were Here!" and while that is true, it is only half of it. The rest of the wish, left unwritten is, "Happy That You Are Happy There!"

Happy Birthday Suz. Mom and I love you and miss you....

....and we promise that as soon as the picture was taken, we got the animals off of your bed and out of your room.


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