Thursday, August 14, 2014

Happy Birthday, Baby Boy...

My son, Joshua Dylan (after 'Bob', not 'Thomas'!) turned 39 today. What on earth are we doing with a 39 year old son??? We're barely that ourselves....How did I live this long? After all, I was part of the 'live fast, love hard, die young and leave a beautiful memory' generation....

I have a picture of him in my desk that was taken shortly after they cleaned him up by the hospital. He looks a little confused and is holding his hands up by his face as if to say, 'what are these things'.

The little holder the hospital gave us says "our new manager". Ain't it the truth! He weighed 7 pounds and 1 ounce and we had no idea what to do with him....First children are a fly by the seat of your pants kind of thing. By the time Mimi came along three years later we'd learned owner's manual and were much calmer and confident.

The birth announcements Bern and I made (being still semi-hippies) were in the shape of an apple and said, "Guard him, O Lord, as the apple of your eye...." I pray that still, every day.

He was a great baby, fun, a good sleeper, fast to adjust to his life. And he has grown into a great man. (On their birthdays each year, whether in person or on the phone, Bern tells Josh and Mimi the story of their birth. They've heard it enough that I think they look forward to it and they're old enough to not think it's 'dumb' as they did as teenagers

Oh, we had our moments: I used to tell people, "Josh spent his Junior Year of high school abroad and forgot to leave the country". That year he went from 8th in his class to 48th and when we heard from him much later about skipped classes and drinking beer and smoking dope, we were horrified and blessed the powers that be that kept it from us at the time....And his first semester at U. Mass, Amherst, his GPA was like 1.9. That's when we told him we were paying for 8 semesters and no more--not even summer school. Give him credit, he finished in 8 semester with (somehow given that start!) a cumulative GPA of 3.4 in History.

He spent the year after college in England, working at a pub in Chelsea. He came home and worked at the Rare Books library at Yale and even caught a guy who was defacing valuable books, while he decided to go to law school in Brooklyn.

That's where he met Cathy Chen, our daughter-in-law and they are both lawyers in Baltimore--Josh at a firm that does lots of 'out of court' stuff and Cathy in the Prosecutor's office, specializing in prosecuting spousal abuse defendants.

Together they gave us the loves of our life: Emma, Morgan and Tegan, our grand-daughters par excellant.

I love Josh immensely and so very proud of him--not just for making twice the amount of money I ever made, but because of the man and husband and father he is.

They do an incredible job--Josh and Cathy--of making those girls life wonderful. As busy as the two of them are and as crazy as it is to raise children in an urban center these days, they get it done.

So, happy birthday 'bonnie Bobby Shaftoe' (one of our many nicknames for him). Be happy and content and fulfilled. You couldn't have turned out any better....I love you....

I would be so very happy if I could be sure Josh knows how much I love him and how proud I am of him. Fathers and sons are complicated, you all know, and I'm not sure he does 'really know it' though I tell him all the time.

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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.