Forty-eight years ago my wonderful in-laws Gene and Sue brought their third son into the world on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. They raised him in the sand, sun, and surf, with summers in Maine on Lake Mooselookmeguntic. He learned from them the honor in hard work. He became a fearless risk taker like his father. A man impervious to pain. Loyal to a fault to those who loved him in the fierce way he loved them.
Inside the tough kid whose hair was a little too long, the young man who didn’t follow anyone else’s rules, the one who didn’t wear shoes to school his entire 8th grade year, was the soul of a true romantic. A song writer. A musician. A guy who believed.
A guy who hates birthdays. His own birthday, anyway.
How can a dewy-eyed romantic hate birthdays? That’s just wrong.
But alas, it is true. Eric hates his birthday. In fact, right now, he wants to kill me so badly that it’s choking him, I promise. If you asked him, he would tell you that the best present I could give him for his birthday would be to pretend it never happened.
I want to make him happy. I do. But I can’t quit celebrating the simple fact of his existence, on this earth and in my life.
Larry and Beth, thank you for Eric. Thank you for the gift of this complex, difficult-at-times, beautiful man. I’m so glad he didn’t turn out to be the sweet little girl I’m sure you hoped for after two boys.
Eric, I love you, and you know you’ll forgive me, so let’s just skip the killing me part, OK? And Happy F*&%’in birthday!
In celebration of Eric, here’s my “best of” posts starring the birthday boy:
http://pamelafaganhutchins.com/2011/04/19/the-best-laid-plans-of-cardinals-and-men/ The perennial favorite, Eric and his cardinals. May God bless their little (dead) souls.
http://pamelafaganhutchins.com/2010/10/10/the-redneck-adventures-of-bubba-mon-and-the-quacker/ As I wrote this one, tears ran down my cheeks, and I may have tinkled just a little. I love Bubba-mon.
http://pamelafaganhutchins.com/2011/02/27/look-out-theres-a-floater-in-the-water/ Honeymoon in Montana. Where it is seriously cold. And my attitude sucked.
http://pamelafaganhutchins.com/2011/03/22/froggy-went-a-courtin/ Where Eric loses his mind, daily. Click through to part two if you dare.
http://pamelafaganhutchins.com/2011/01/27/nice-legs/ In which my mother gets in on the fun.
http://pamelafaganhutchins.com/2011/04/26/my-lost-soul/ AKA “Directionally Challenged Bicyclist Lost in Houston.”
http://pamelafaganhutchins.com/2010/08/29/captain-underpants-strikes-again/ With links to all of the horribly embarrassing tush posts!
http://pamelafaganhutchins.com/2010/09/03/family-killing-spree-continues/ Now this is what I call parenting.
Enjoy. If you can’t find something to laugh about in those, then you ain’t got no sense of humor.
Y’all be sure to give him a birthday shout out, either in the comments, on Twitter (@trimon29), or on Facebook.