Today, we celebrated my eldest’s twenty-third birthday.
For some reason, this one is the most dreamlike.
Big Guy, Warren, and I sat in the hot tub last night, figuring out how we were going to shape Gavin’s special day.
I’ve been listening all week to advertisements for our city’s annual, Downtown cleanup event.
I’ve accompanied my children and swept many a sidewalk on behalf of National Honor Society and Community Service groups they have been involved in throughout their years.
There weren’t any school group commitments this year, but I couldn’t think of a better way to honor my son than by giving back to the surrounding neighborhood that has given us so much over the years.
Most importantly, a safe and convivial community where our kids could grow into the fine young adults they’ve become.
I also hoped we’d be paying it a little bit forward, too.
After receiving our assignments, I passed these two, working in tandem to clean the stretch ahead of them.
“Look at you go!” I said to this handsome fellow, “what a fine job you’re doing.”
His smile stretched wider than the walkway and he held his arms outward toward me.
“He’s a hugger,” said the young girl who pushed him up and down the path.
“Me, too,” I responded as I leaned down to return the gesture.
He didn’t want to let go.
What’s interesting about this is that I wrote a message to my boy this morning that said, “May your day be filled with rainbows, joy, and all the heavenly hugs that we can’t give you right now.”
Seems I needed the embrace as much as I wanted one for my boy.
I’m surprised Big Guy, who’s always commenting how I will “just talk to random strangers,” didn’t lament me hugging someone I’d just met, on the street no less.
We left this adorable pair and began our work.
We swept the length of three city blocks.
And collected an enormous bag of trash.
Clean it up…
Afterward we ran to Sam’s Club, where I couldn’t resist taking a photo of this fun and delectable dessert!
My first impulse was to bring it home, but Big Guy laughed at the idea and said it was too girly for a guy.
Besides, there was way too much sugar in that container for the three of us at home.
Indulge yourself in it.
Next we headed to Walmart, in search of the Iron Man 2 DVD.
This was the plan we’d made:
Do downtown cleanup.
Warren had a few hours of work to finish. I wanted to write, and Big Guy wanted to relax.
Then dinner. “He’s twenty-three, Mom,” Big Guy had informed me from the hot tub, “he wants pizza.”
Warren suggested he’d like a nice, juicy steak.
So we did both.
I popped some frozen French bread pizzas into the oven while Warren fired up the grill.
And then we settled in for a movie marathon.
Movie one from the comforts of our couches.
And then we decided to take the second film out to the hot tub, where we set up a little viewing station.
Life’s full of action.
Relish in the occasional relaxation…
Three years ago, we imagined a lively, twenty-year-old Gavin at the helm of a shooting star.
But this year…this year we think he’s settling in a bit, enjoying down time, happy to be with family…
Happy to be home…
Thanks for the beautiful day, my boy, for tagging along with us today, and for the memories you continue to create…
Happy birthday, Gavin.
I love you.
And no matter what…