Good humor makes all things possible.
-Charles Schultz-

With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.
-Shakespeare-The Merchant of Venice-

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Today is my son's birthday.
He lives in Chicago and has a great job and a nice apartment and a new Jeep and a sweet girlfriend.
But once he was a funny little boy.
I'm sorry I'm too lazy to scan a half a dozen pictures that prove how adorable he was.

When Sam was almost two, we went to Vermont for Christmas.  I had two kids and two pairs of pink mittens.  We  spent one day sightseeing and walking everywhere while Sam fussed "ho-tey, ho-tey" and kept sitting down on the sidewalk.  He couldn't talk yet, and I clearly remember how heavy he was to carry.  At the end of the long cold day I pulled off his boot and out fell a Fisher-Price person--the cowboy one he called the horsey.  You'd think I'd have learned to check his shoes; when he first learned to walk he wore a cute pair of Air Jordans (from Grandma Rita) that he eventually outgrew, and I set them aside. At some point, I finally discovered, wedged deep inside one shoe and bearing the cramped imprint of five miserable little toes,  a solid wad of tissue paper, back from when the shoes were new.

I'm really sorry about that, Sam.  

Sam was a pirate for two Halloweens--he liked having whiskers drawn on.  I suppose I knew that he'd grow up and be hairy--the men on both sides of the family (and a few of the women) are pretty burly--but when he was little he was as silky and soft as a kitten. He was a black-haired baby that turned tow-headed, and then gradually got darker and hairier; I think he started shaving in the eighth grade. 

 I'm sorry you have a five o'clock shadow at noon, honey.

In the nineties, an awful lot of family portraits looked just like this.  Sam had a little tail of golden curls 
(which was his choice, I want to emphasize.)  It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Again, I'm sorry Sam.

And now he's all grown up.  He's officially twenty-seven, but last year he found out he was really thirty, because once you're not in school any more and you aren't having fifth, or eighteenth, or twenty-first birthday celebrations, and have a big-boy career like a lot of other adults, you might as well be thirty.  I guess when he finally gets there it won't sting so much.

I'm sorry about that, too.

Happy birthday, Son.


  1. Sam is adorable at all ages! What a cutie!

  2. Handsome young man! OH MY GOSH, that is a real rat! Talk about a realistic prop!

    1. Yes, Oreo, the class beast. She visited each kindergartener in one-week increments and we had her at Halloween. Weren't we lucky?

  3. Those are such sweet photos, although I just can't help laughing at the expression on your daughter's (Lillian?) face in that '90s photo! She looks like she just got some really shocking news!

    And the shoe stories?! Oh my!

  4. He looks so much like my son! Oh those poor little feet!