Birthdays, Memories, and Hope

I am sitting at the kitchen counter while two tattooed and frizzled gentlemen deodorize, sanitize, sporicide, and otherwise clean my carpets. The chemical smell has done wonders for my sinuses, and the noise is frightening. Their constant coughing leads me to believe that I may be better off with all the scary microbes living in my carpets.

I have a while before I can go into the living room (or the bedroom or the bathroom), and my mind wanders to the calendar for the weekend. I see it again, and it only amazes, excites, and depresses me all at the same time- our son’s birthday is in two days. Nineteen? Who’d ever believe that a kid who played with a tazer in his college dorm or who built a potato gun that runs on hair spray or who wears a rainbow clown wig on his FaceBook status photo is that old.
Our son is a freshman in college, and for the first time in his life, will celebrate without his family. We are involved in a new church start in our community, and are deeply committed to its development. The drive time to his campus is over 10 hours one way; not bad, but requires three days for a visit. There are many more excuses, but they really sound weak when I think of them. Of course, he could come home, but then again- the trip requires three days, and he only has two days between classes on the weekend.
Of this I am sure- he will fare far better than his parents and his little sister. He is active on his campus, in the local church, and every now and then takes a little time to study. He has made new friends, and will find plenty to help him celebrate.
We will celebrate here, without him. We are planning to barbecue a pork shoulder; my beautiful wife is baking, and we have tickets to Mamma Mia (final night!). It should be a whale of a wing-ding….
But still, I miss that little boy who used to ride on my foot; who threw up in my shirt pocket on my way to the pulpit to start the church service; who wrecked his bike and spent time in the ER to sew up his beautiful face. I even miss the kid who always needed money, who bought weird stuff with it, and then stuck it in his closet never to be seen again.
Those memories and thousands more are locked safely away safely in my heart where my memory cannot lose them. There, they are safe; they are mine.
I have so much confidence in him! Our son is a people person; an influencer of people with a beautiful personality and a crooked smile (see bike wreck above). He offers so much- and with that, he gives me hope. Hope for a successful college career; hope for beautiful daughter-in-law and grandkids; hope that I won’t have to repay his college loans.
And while we might miss a birthday or two while he is in college, we look forward to the man he will become; no, the man he is becoming…….
If he stays away from college geeks with tazers.
Love you, son.
These chemicals are sure hard on my tear ducts……
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