Every year you move further away from these images.
And this year you moved at warp speed.
And I just realized something. As an etiquette maven, I shouldn't call you Young Master Buxom any more. You're 13; you're not a "master" any more. You're not a man, though. (Even though this morning you said you were going to "miss being a kid.")
We're Episcopalians, so we don't do much of anything to mark the occasion. We don't have anything like a Bar Mitzvah. (It's just as well; I'd have disgraced myself by blubbering all over the place.)
Oh, I held it together while everyone was awake. We had a good day. We made breakfast to order: three hard-boiled eggs, two strips of bacon, and a toasted, uttered bagel. We gave you two boxes of Krispy Kremes to hand out to the kids in your advisory. After school, we went out together, and I bought you a new bike. One that would fit your long legs. And helmets for both of us. On the way home, "Slow Ride" played on the radio, and we laughed over the way it sounds when I play it on Guitar Hero. And sang along.
Dinner was more of your favorites: New York strip steak, baked potato, brussels sprouts. Yellow cake with caramel icing.
No, you're not a man. You're more like an adolescent giraffe, anyway. At 5' 9" and 115 pounds, you are the tallest, thinnest creature in Cook County. You're the tallest member of the family; you have the biggest feet. You have the deepest voice--and most of the time, the loudest voice, too.
The coolest moves, too. They were impressed at the Virgin Records Mega-Store on Hollywood Boulevard.
But you're still willing to pose with the Easter bunny.
Or next to the plaque commemorating the founding of a hospital by your great-great-grand-uncle. Yes, it's dorky, but you'll still pose to oblige me.
You know what? They never tell you what a crushing weight of love you're going to feel for the baby who turns you into a mother--(or a "Mamy," as you insisted on spelling it--in caps--when you were in kindergarten.)
Or maybe they do tell you--but you don't understand because nothing like it has ever happened to you before.
And another thing. They never tell you that the love never stops. No matter how stretched-out and long-legged and manly-sounding the baby gets.
Happy birthday, boy.