Thursday, July 19, 2012

Independence Day

Sam, what day is today?
July 4th, Sam’s birthday. Happy birthday, Sam.
How old are you now? 
No Sam, what comes after sixteen? 
Sam, you are too young to be lying about your age.
Listen. What comes AFTER sixteen? 

What should we do today?
See fire engine water fight. 
See fireworks. Red. Blue. Yellow. Green.
Blow out the birthday candles. Eat cake. 
Eat cake, Mommy! Chocolate cake!

My Yankee Doodle Sam is 17. Yikes. How did that happen?

As the country observes Independence Day, we celebrate Sam’s birthday. This year will bring a different twist as we focus, appropriately enough, toward independence. Sam will spend significant time learning to navigate the big world ahead of him. We will ready him for new experiences and broader horizons. And I will begin to learn how to let go.

It is a daunting agenda that scares me.

But all of that is for tomorrow. Today is for celebrating the handsome boy ever at my side; for acknowledging how very far he has come. It is a day for reveling in Sam's smile and knowing all is right with the world. It is the very best day of the year.

We will cheer the fire engine's annual water fight. At dusk we will watch the sky light up with our arms around each other. “Sam! Look up at the sky.” I will say, “Is it beautiful?” He will tell me the colors he sees: red, blue, white yellow and green. I will notice how tall he has grown and then I will tell him the fireworks are exclusively for him. He will smile broadly in belief.  And I will once again delight in the innocence of his trust.

Tomorrow will be here soon enough. Today we celebrate all that is right: Sam, water fights and fireworks. There will be off key singing, candles and cake. And yes, Sam, chocolate cake. 

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