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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

On the Birthday of a Son

This year my older son's birthday coincided with Father's Day, as it does some years.

My own birthday falls within a few days of my son's, so I too have shared the anniversary of my birth with Father's Day on multiple occasions.

My mother tells the story of wrapping me in a bow and giving me as a gift to my father on my first birthday, which was also the first time these two specials days happened to coincide. I have always felt funny about the story, smiled awkwardly, wished for the ritual repeating of this story to finally be over for another year.

But when my son was born within days of my birthday, I almost swooned with the pleasure of it. And  every seventh year when his birthday and Father's Day are one and the same, I am all day giddy with delight, much to (already twice) his chagrin.

I am reminded, once again, of this quote by E. M. Forster: “For a wonderful physical tie binds the parents to the children; and - by some sad, strange irony - it does not bind us children to our parents. For if it did, if we could answer their love not with gratitude but with equal love, life would lose much of its pathos and much of its squalor, and we might be wonderfully happy.”

This is how it should be, of course. And I shall sit in my squalor and pathos and observe them as they grow and grow away, my sons.


Leslie Jam said...

Beautiful! I can't believe he is 13. Luckily we are ageless n'est c'est pas?


Jessica Goodfellow said...

I know; it's unbelievable. And he's taller than I am, and such a man already. Sigh. But we, we are ageless, even if we don't always feel it, yes?