Birthday Boy

Third birthday cake


This past week my oldest son celebrated his birthday.  This birthday was a major one—for him and for me.  Why me?  Well, somehow he’s reached the age I think I am.  How could that be?!  🙂

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to be with him as I was on the day he was born nor the many birthdays that followed.  He has made his home and found his success as an adult man in Alaska.  But while I may not be with him literally today to make him what became his favorite cake for a birthday, I’m with him in spirit.  Throughout that day I thought much about his birthdays we’d celebrated in the past. 

I still remember the day he was born (don’t all mothers remember that day?).  It was a late afternoon Friday.  Near sunrise on a warmer than usual early March day, his father and I entered the hospital.  As we walked in I remember seeing a rabbit.  I fervently hoped it wasn’t foreshadowing lots of future babies for me.  Why?  I’d been in early labor since late afternoon the previous day. 

Finally, later that Friday afternoon, my son decided to enter this world.  Of course, he was beautiful and worth the effort.  He had big blue eyes that still remain gorgeous and lots of dark wavy hair that any female would envy.  He still has that, too. 

Steve--almost one year old

As far as his grandparents were concerned, Steve timed his arrival perfectly.  What better way to spend an early Friday evening but hopping up to the hospital to see their first grandchild?  Then after visiting hours, a neighbor or ours who worked as a third shift nurse stopped in to tell me she’d already visited with Steve in the nursery.  Then she told me she was pregnant.  That child she carried became Steve’s best buddy as they were growing up. 

Other birthdays came along but another one neither of us will ever forget was his third birthday.  After the party, his first official one with party hats and kids and people other than close family, I ended up making a frantic call to our family doctor.  Steve was admitted to the hospital.  A day later we received the news that his kidneys were failing.  The why and how to treat it meant a stay in the hospital of several weeks.  His prognosis did not appear promising.  You can see in the photo how bloated his face and eyes appear. 

Presents for the birthday boy

I won’t go into all the particulars of that stay other to say that Steve hasn’t been real appreciative of birthday celebrations since.  Nor does he particularly like hospitals.  He had a long road to regain his health and a few times in those years the specialists weren’t very positive about his chances to survive into adulthood. 

But he has.  By the time he entered grade school he wasn’t spending so much time in hospitals.  Better yet he soon became strong enough to play pee-wee sports and became quite a good little football and basketball player.  In his teens he wrestled and also did well.  Whenever we’d go in for checkups they doctors always shook their heads with amazement. Sometimes miracles do happen.  This significant birthday reconfirms that fact for me.  

Some party goers

Anyway, having endured so much together I always must celebrate my son’s determination and feistiness and courage, even as the littlest boy to survive.  I’m so proud of him and will always celebrate the day he entered the world.  Because he’s still in this world. 

What about you?  Any special reason you might celebrate the birthday of someone you love?  Do any of those memories fire up in your writing for those of you who are writers?

Explore posts in the same categories: Memories

8 Comments on “Birthday Boy”

  1. Elle J Rossi Says:

    Great story. Thanks for sharing. I celebrate my Grandfather’s birthday every year even though he is no longer here in body. His spirit is in my heart, right along with his humor and sarcasm. He was hilarious and spry and ornery. I hope to have half as much of his energy as I get older. My favorite part about his birthday? It also happens to be mine!

  2. Edie Says:

    I’m so glad your son lived to celebrate the birthday that’s the same age that you feel. I know what you mean!

    My FIL recently passed away, so his next birthday will be poignant. He had a big personality.

    I’ll never forget my son’s birth. He had red curls and was so cute. When I took him for walks, people stopped me on the street to tell me how cute he was. Tonight we’re having dinner at his house. And he’s the age I think I should be. lol

  3. caseyclifford Says:


    I think it’s wonderful that you share the same birthday as your beloved grandfather. I always remember in my heart those I love who no longer walk this earth when that special day occur. I also find that I can build on some of their unique personalities and characteristics to make my fictional characters more true.

    I suspect you will have as much or more energy once you get to be your grandfather’s age. Most of us are very fortunate to have better nutrition and are more health conscious today which should push those longevity numbers higher and with higher quality of life. 🙂 So believe it!

  4. caseyclifford Says:


    I loved that you shared your joy about your son and what he looked like at birth. Love the red hair too.

    We were very lucky to have the positive outcome we did for our son. He was part of some very experimental treatments which he responded to very well and have since become standard. God was good to us and to him as Steve leads such a full life now.

    Thanks for stopping by and for sharing.

  5. Nancy Kaye Says:

    What a wonderful blog. Steve is indeed a very special person. To me he has always reminded me of you. You are lucky to have him.

    When my Tom was born, he looked just like my father. It was so funny to see my father’s face looking at me on this tiny baby. Even his Dad thought he looked like my father. As he’s grown up, his personality is like my father’s and brother’s. They were such good men that I’ve always felt their spirit lives on in Tom.

  6. What an inspiring story, I’m really glad I remembered to read your blog today. 🙂 Happy Birthday to Steve!!!

  7. caseyclifford Says:


    I’m glad you remembered to stop by also. 🙂

    I’ll be sure to tell him my ‘adopted’ daughter sends birthday wishes. He’ll love that, especially when I also mention your final in the Beanpot for Meant To Be.

  8. caseyclifford Says:


    Loved your impressions of your dad, brother and your son. We’ve watched our babies grow into the handsome successful men they are. We can pat ourselves on the back. We did our job and they did theirs.

    And remember, you were always Steve’s favorite English teacher. He mentions that every time I mention you. 🙂

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