Thursday, June 4, 2009


Today is Buo's birthday. He is seventeen today. I can hardly believe it. In fact, I can hardly believe it whenever one of my children has a birthday. And they all have summer birthdays.


It appears I will spend much of the next few months in a state of disbelief.

When Buo was little he was my wild child. Wedged in between two fairly (read completely) laid back individuals, he was the live wire of the group and, truthfully, there were moments that I was unsure just what to do with him. If the other two were middle of the road, Buo never even touched the pavement. He was a child of extremes; extremely happy or extremely...not.

Thankfully, he was mostly happy. And thankfully, he has stayed that way.

This might sound like bragging but I can't claim credit for any of it. He came this way. I have learned more from him than I can possibly sum up in a few inadequate adjectives and paragraphs. But this is some of it.

I have learned (or relearned, because I knew this once upon a time) to really focus on the good in people. Not because I have had to do that with him but because he does that with everyone he meets. We don't walk away from meeting up with someone (insurance salesman, cashier, man-on-the-street) without him saying something like, "She had a beautiful smile" or "He was the happiest bag boy I ever met". We just don't. Ever.

I have learned that, when someone is upset, angry, emotional, sometimes they need a little space and a few moments to themselves. Without their mother in their face. Talking incessantly.

I have learned to laugh. A lesson I have learned from all of my children actually, but Buo can diffuse almost any situation unlike anyone I have ever seen. With sheer audacity and wit. And his siblings are picking it up. And I love it.

I am learning still from him, to love without holding anything back. He doesn't carefully hold a place reserved to protect himself. And he is rewarded for it by receiving that kind of love back.

I have learned to love life because he loves life. Every single second. And he makes everyone around him feel that way about life too.

I am in awe of the human being he has become. He is so much finer than I could ever have imagined when I held him in my arms for the first time seventeen years ago.

Happy birthday, son.


Rory said...


Teachinfourth said...

I second all of what you said. Well, maybe not the part about holding him in your arms seventeen years ago, and maybe not about the part of not knowing what to do with him either...

But I would firmly stand by the rest of it.

You rock Buo.