When I was younger I used to say, “No matter how many children you have, from one to twenty, God makes the last one so you know it’s time to quit.”
Today is my last one’s birthday. As the youngest in the family, he’s also the tallest – topping out around 6’3″ – and a beanpole at that. Don’t ever think he’s “skinny” tho’. He’s as wiry as they come and strong as can be. He’s a gentle giant.
He’s the one who never talked as a baby, just grunted. Everyone else in the family knew what he meant.
He had the ear-infections from hell. All the other kids had an occasional one, and his older brother had quite some trouble with them, too, but not like his. He spent several stretches of time suffering from ear infections and we became stock holders in amoxicillan (or should have). He suffered from asthma, but we could never get to the doctor at the right time to have it diagnosed…until several months where he had suffered from attacks. Tied into allergies, we found it was all related, the ears, the asthma, the allergies. We lived on a farm and he was allergic to dust, oats, grass, trees.. you get the picture. Kind of hard to keep all those things under control living on a gravel road!
Although a late talker, he was phycially ahead of his time. He learned early to climb out of his crib, so we switched him to a playpen. He figured out how to get out of it, so we put a gate on his bedroom door. Not only did he learn to take the gate down, but he would put it back up so I wouldn’t know he was out, until I would find him climbing on top of the kitchen counter heading for the top of the refrigerator! We had to put a hook on the door at the bottom of the stairs, just to keep him from roaming the house after we’d all gone to sleep!
He’s the kid who was diagnosed early with ADHD. He’s the kid who had to put up with trial-and-error medication dosages, special ed classes, and frustrated teachers and parents. He’s the kid who sat in the principals’ office when he was in kindergarten stoic as a POW. He’s the kid who was smarter than most of the kids in his class, but it wasn’t book smart. Give him a welder and some iron and he’s an artist. Give him a motor and some tools and he’s a genius. Give him a stock car to drive and he’s fearless.
He has a smile like an angel and the most beautiful hazel eyes you’ve ever seen. He’s got freckles… and the spirit and temperment to go with them. Despite it all, he’s grown up with a great sense of humor and a giving and loving nature. I’m so proud of him…
Happy Birthday, Baby… with much love.