Birthdays. They are special and are much fun to celebrate. Yesterday was my oldest nephew’s 22nd birthday and I took him out for our traditional birthday dinner.
And as we sat, ate and talked, I looked at him, this young man, and realized how proud I am of him. He has grown up to be a fine young man – honest, hard-working, super intelligent, funny and just a good guy, He treats women with respect and courtesy, he does not take advantage of people, he follows his sense of right and wrongNow, he does have his faults, as does everyone, but I am so proud of who he has become.
Before we left for the restraint, I watched him explain some homework to his roommate, and he was so good at breaking things down to a level that is understandable. Jeeze, he can get me to understand quantum physics, and that is no small deed so he must be good.
And I just wanted to hug him and keep him at this age, or at least take a photo in my mind so I could always remember this day and time with him. I remember when he was just a baby, starting to walk, but still hanging onto the table for stability. That little finger that would get into everything. His first day of school and how he grew up with many of the friends with whom he graduated. His adolescence and all the awkward stages that we all go through. His 18th birthday, when he was an adult. His 20th birthday when he was no longer in his teens. His 21st birthday, when I bought him his first beer, and now he is 22. So many stages and trails, so many projects and tests.
There was his trip to Alaska, his building of robots, his Skills USA competition, his theory on why a time machine could never be built, his friends he has had all of his life and how much they mean to him, his disappointments and things that made him happy and excited. Going to the first open house with him at the school he now attends.
We went to the open house and then I took him to a nice dinner. Afterward we went to a restaurant that spins so he could see the Atlanta skyline properly. There was a cheerleading convention in town that weekend, and the entire downtown area and the restaurant had thousands of attractive cheerleaders running around in their uniforms, He looked at me bright eyed and innocent and declared that he loved Atlanta. I just laughed.
Being there for him is the best thing I have ever done in my life. It is so special to see a young man grow into someone whom you are so proud. It has been an honor and a privilege to watch him develop into this magnificent human being. And I hope there are many birthdays to come