26 May 2007

Happy 7th, Kaleb!

Happy Birthday! I've been teasing you all year with the notion that there is no "May 26th" on the calendar because We're doubling up on "November 12" and yet, here it is! Goes to show how much I know about time...

From last year's divorce, which happened in the gray regions that surround your daily life and Grandpa's death, which happened virtually in front of you, the year has been shadowed by sadness. Maybe it's Me, but I can see those shadows in your eyes, in the muted dimness of your smile and in the sidelong glances you use to assess the world.

Or maybe it's just the process of growing up, of becoming more aware of the world and thus less open to it. Your mom has told Me of the many questions you asked her about Grandpa's death, of where he's gone, why he left, what that means to you, to her and what would happen if I died, too. She answered all your questions and for that I'm grateful. You asked Me fewer questions, but they were more pointed, more concrete: Did Grandpa know he was going to die? Was he in pain? When will Grandpa's ashes be placed in Orocovis?

Last week you told Me We had to "give" something to Grandpa on Father's Day. I confess the idea caught Me by surprise, for I was planning to celebrate his birthday (August 4), but Father's Day seemed much better. After discussing it with My sister, We decided to continue sponsoring a child, as Grandpa did for over 20 years. You, your cousins, Aunt Vi Marie, Grandma and I will pool monies and give a gift in Grandpa's name, celebrating Father's Day for Us and in his memory.

In many ways, you've come out stronger from the last year. You're certainly a better student and you've developed many interests, from coins to Egypt to classic cars. I watch you grow, make you laugh, listen to your concerns, laugh at your occasional jokes and enjoy playing whatever it is that We're playing at the time...but I worry. I wonder if I'm the best father I can be, if My choices are truly best for you and if My limitations might hold you back in some crucial way. I guess that's only natural, but I know I can only do so much. Who you are and what you will be is largely up to you. And you're doing a wonderful job.

So continue tolerating Me with your soft smile whenever I press down on your head to "keep you from growing," or shake your head like a wise old man when I "blame" you for something I screwed up or giggling like a mad elf when I invite you to lunch at Pep Boys. I'm so happy you're My son. I'm so happy you're seven. I'm so happy We can be seven together.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

1 comment:

Maria M. said...

I always thought you were five. Happy Birthday Kaleb!!!!