Thursday, September 12, 2013

Birthday Boy Says: "No Candles, No Singing, No Pictures"

I don't know much about raising girls. We never had a daughter. The past 17 years in this house have been all about boys: Legos, Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs, Matchbox cars, comic books, Star Wars. These days our home is cluttered with soccer cleats, bike helmets, golf clubs, goal-keeper gloves, bass bows, trumpet music, and rosin.Tonight, our older son's 17th birthday, was, well, boyish.

I asked Gabriel what he wanted for his birthday meal. He asked for a dinner of steak, grilled mushrooms, and some couscous. Oh, and an ice-cream cake from Carvel please.

It was raining hard by the time we four finished dinner (I got a huge thank you for the dinner) and I drove a few blocks to Carvel for the cake, which my son insisted be their smallest one. I grabbed the cake from the freezer and the franchise owner asked me if I wanted anything written on top. "Nope. He won't notice," I told him. That drew a huge laugh from the owner. "A teenaged boy? Oh, he will want to eat the cake while he sitting at the computer. It will be like 'thanks Mom, just close the door on the way out of my room.' " (His son is 23 and an engineer)

When I got home our two sons were so eager to eat the cake that they wouldn't even wait for it to soften a bit. I tried to put the musical candle I had impulsively bought at the Carvel, but our birthday boy said "No candles, no singing." All righty then. Gabriel took an enormous knife and began cutting. The four of us devoured the cake, which the boys ate standing at the kitchen counter, in about five minutes.

I was brought up in a world where bragging about one's children was considered rude. Well, here is tonight's rudeness: Gabriel is a wonderful young man. He's smart and he's kind. He shows me how to be a better person and reminds me to keep an open heart. He has a keen sense of both justice and humor. I can't wait to watch him step into adulthood.

1 comment:

  1. That's what I love about boys (I have 2 also, although they're both past 40 now). They're so straightforward: WYSIWYG - no sentimentality to complicate things.