Saturday, August 6, 2011

Like Mother Like Son

When you’re a writer, you need to pay attention to patterns that repeat, even when they take awhile for them to come full circle.

Eight weeks shy of twenty-six years ago we were celebrating the fourth birthday of a darling little girl. Our daughter Laura was such a sweet child that she fooled us into believing that raising children was a snap. Her sister Sarah, who was born 16 ½ months later, soon set us right. But on that special day our quiet first child celebrated the way all little girls do with a pink little party that had lots of friends and family spoiling her with cute little gifts.
She didn’t stay pink very long. While always short of stature, she grew into the toughest 9-12 year old we’ve ever known. She loved a number of sports but excelled at softball where she practiced pitching until she was the master of control. Her specialty was the drop ball. When she let it go it looked like it was a meatball in the center of the plate. But, about the time the batter started to drool and let loose a swing straight out of Casey at the Bat, the bottom would drop out of the pitch and the ball would dive toward the corner of the plate. Invariably the batter would nick the top of it and the ball would roll weakly for one of her teammates to gobble up and throw over to first base. The infielders loved when Laura pitched while the outfielders fell asleep.

But even sweet little girls don’t stay young forever. They grow up, get married, and have children of their own. Four years ago this week our sweet little girl had an even sweeter little boy. Ethan is charming, pleasant, and the absolute apple of our eye. On top of that he has his mother’s love of baseball. So today there is a baseball themed party being set up in our backyard and soon loud and happy voices will be echoing through the neighborhood while the birthday boy celebrates with his family and friends. No pink, but plenty of party.

Eight weeks shy of twenty-six years ago we penned a birthday poem for our little girl. Today we are giving it to our first grandson and sharing it with you. Happy Birthday, Ethan!

Hurray for a Four-Year-Old’s Birthday!
Happy birthday sweet Ethan.
Happy birthday we say.
You’re one more year older
starting today.

You’re one more year wiser
and you’ve grown a lot too
since the last time we sang
happy birthday to you.

From this day onward
you’ll be three never more.
For after today
you’ll be counted as four.

So happy birthday sweet Ethan.
Happy birthday my dear.
Stay safe ‘till we sing
happy birthday next year.

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