March 9 has not been just a day on the calendar since I married The Cinnamon Girl almost ten years ago now, though one member of the household has continually tried to down play its significance. Though his brother and sister and his mother and I would love to make a bigger deal about his birthday – especially THIS one, his 18th – we (primarily) will follow his wishes on this day of all days.
HJ jr is pleased to be 18. He’s looking forward to the next steps in his life – to his graduation from high school and his entrance into college and the slow opening of the wider world. He’s ready, mainly because The Cinnamon Girl has done such a great job raising him. He knows he’s ready.
But he doesn’t like to have a fuss made about him. He doesn’t seek the spotlight. He doesn’t want many words about him said or written. He certainly doesn’t want ANY singing.
There are so many things about HJ jr that impress me. There are so many things about him that astound me. He’s one of the most self-assured kids I’ve ever known. He is introspective and reflective. He is not afraid to hold opinions somewhat outside the Venn Diagram of “traditional” thought. He is unintimidated. He’s brave. He is knowledgeable and ready to share. He is special and is in the process of becoming something extraordinary.
I love this kid – this young man – and it’s been one of the great privileges of the last decade of my life to be in his.
Happy Birthday, HJ jr. I can’t promise I won’t sing to you. I can’t promise I won’t say “I love you.”
Because I do.