Just 24 years ago today the first of our three family installments landed after just 16 months of married bliss. He was an unscheduled development. We
didn’t couldn’t wait as long as we had planned, being newlyweds and all … a nice spring Sunday … brunch with friends … a few mimosas … You get the picture idea.
But – make no mistake – we were ecstatic! Legend has it I had a smile so wide, Tom Cruise was jealous. (Maybe just a bit too far a reach there.) It wasn’t a totally smooth delivery, as Carol was hit with a rather severe blood pressure issue (preeclampsia). Our relief was palpable, although it would be several more days before Carol was out of the woods.
As a parent, you eventually learn that every child you are blessed with is totally different in at least several readily apparent ways. Of course, you don’t actually learn that until #2 arrives; they get their feet under them; and promptly tear asunder the confidence you had that the whole parent thing is figured out! But it’s a lesson you tend to learn at the wrong end of the diaper.
Michael wasn’t exactly a walk in the park either as a baby. It took us a while to figure out why he kept throwing up his formula once the breast-feeding tap was closed. And we couldn’t figure out how any human being of any size could scream non-stop on a car trip – any car trip – especially that two-hour drive from hell – Philadelphia to Long Island. After he suffered an anaphylactic reaction from licking a fork with raw egg drippings at around 18 months, the light finally clicked on and he was diagnosed with food allergies. Yet another parenting lesson learned.
Our oldest turned out to be our most athletically active child, our most independent, our costliest insofar as activities and boondoggles go, and our most frustrating – most recently anyway. But after taking a year-and-a-half off from college to figure things out, we’re proud to say he’s back on track and pulling down some decent grades.
Michael has also landed himself an exceptionally bright, lovely, level-headed girlfriend (Sorry, J!), who seems to have his best interests at heart and manages to keep him focused and on track. (It’s true that behind many a great man stands a woman … with a cattle prod.)
No, it hasn’t been the smoothest ride. There have been times we wanted to go all Homer Simpson-on-Bart with him. But in the end, he’s turned out to be a considerate, well-mannered young man, who knows the importance of work ethic and responsibility. He has the good sense to realize his current life will go far in determining his future success; and Carol and I wish him nothing but the absolute best in that regard.
Maybe those parenting lessons took after all!
Happy Birthday, son!!
Love, Mom & Dad