The Virus Diary: 15th Birthday

Today is my son's 15th birthday.  I was expecting this day to be unusual.  But not because of the pandemic.  I was expecting this day to be unusual because he was supposed to be out of the country, touring the Galapagos Island and part of Ecuador.    When we signed him up for this trip (educational, but not exactly through the school), I told one of the chaperones (a teacher, tutor and friend) how it was going to be strange not to be with my son on his birthday.  She said she would make arrangements so that it would still be a special day.  She would do something special. She would make sure I got a photo (or photos).  So I expected this day to be unexpected.

I did not expect this version of unusual.  Who would have?

My son is 15 today.  And he is at home.  We are not on vacation (as we often are on his birthday).  There is no party.  There are no special plans.  He wants to go out to dinner (alone), but as the remnants of the hurricane/tropical storm come up the coast that will not be possible either.  And the lawn signs that I bought?  Doesn't seem like a great idea to put them up in the middle of rain and wind, not to mention the predicted thunder and lightning.  So the most of the lawn signs (and 15 balloon that I bought the day before and hid in the basement) are in the house.  (I did put out two right by the house...and wrote a chalk message which I know will wash away, but...) We may not go out at all today...We will have to see what Isaias has to say or show.  (Are we sticking with a tropical storm or going for hurricane status?)

His first 14 birthdays have been pretty predictable; maybe even boring.  I've worn the same outfit every year for the past 15 years. (My son has not.)  It started out as a lark on his first birthday and then somehow it just evolved.  Same top and same shorts.  (Ok, I may have worn a skirt one year...but it was still the same navy color)  Same earrings.  The weight has fluctuated (thankfully gone down...and then a little up...but...).  The hair has remained the same.  

While I have been predictable my son has not.  He had very little hair when he was born; now he needs to have and has thick (I am jealous) strawberry blonde/auburn hair.  He once fit in my arms; now he towers over me (Over 6 feet and growing.)  He has his own unique sense of style. (Forget kids, how many people do you know who own spats, a boater and a walking stick and wear/use them all regularly?)  Like all teens he does things to annoy me (wearing a 3 piece suit in 90+ degree weather) and frustrates me just because he can.  (Isn't that the beauty of being a teen?)  And thankfully he's turned into a pretty thoughtful and caring young man.  (Not that he doesn't have his moments; he does.  But don't we all.)  He may be average when it comes to schooling, but he's NOT typical.  He's proudly unique and it serves him well.  It serves me well most of the time, but...his stubborn streak (which has been with him since Day 1) can drive a parent crazy OR it can make one extremely proud.  Sometimes both at the same time!

As I tried to explain to my son this morning, this day is as important to me now as it was 15 years ago.  It always will be.  Each August 4th has been special and unique...just like him.  I wouldn't have it any other way.


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