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Today is my son Jonathan’s 18th birthday.
I’ve decided to make a shift from my typical retrospective blogging about the challenges he and I have had and instead remind him of (and entertain you with) some of the silly stuff he did and said over the years. These are moments that Jonathan can’t possibly remember, although he probably thinks he does because he’s so enjoyed listening to the tales throughout his lifetime.
The first time Jonathan ever strung two words together to make a sentence, he was in his car seat in the back seat of our car. His dad was driving and the traffic was pretty heavy. At one point we got cut off by another car and my ex-husband (practicing the restraint I had been insisting upon since Jonathan had started talking) cursed softly under his breath. Jonathan, on the other hand, threw his sippy cup forcefully at the back of his dad’s head and declared, “F***in’ drivers!“.
When he was two years old we took a trip back to Texas from Florida and were spending some time with his dad’s family. It was Christmastime and our trip coincided with a Christmas pageant at the church my ex-husband’s younger siblings attended. The pageant was beautiful; the lights were dimmed and the kids were all dressed in festive clothes as they proceeded down the center aisle carrying candles as soft carols were played. Jonathan was in awe of the entire scene and his eyes kept dancing from candle to candle as they passed our pew. When the last child arrived at the sanctuary, the music stopped and there was the briefest moment of quiet. Jonathan, never one to abide quiet moments, clapped his hands together and announced “Happy Birthday!!“.
When he was about 2 1/2, he got up early one morning and quietly entertained himself in front of the television until I woke up. This was not unusual, as he was highly independent at an early age and mastered the VCR on his own. What was unusual was the fact that that morning’s entertainment involved getting a container of Crisco out of the cabinet and splattering the wall next to the television with it. I mean, great gobby handfuls of the stuff, hurled high on the wall that then traveled in a downward motion to the floor, leaving oily trails behind them.
When he was just past his 3rd birthday, he really wanted to play with his grandma’s pet rabbit. The rabbit, though, was having none of it. In his frustration, Jonathan hefted a garden rake onto his shoulder (he used to get called Bam-Bam a lot!) and followed the rabbit’s progress through the back yard, muttering, “Come ‘ere, you little son of bitch.”
When he was 4, Jonathan became prone to a bit more drama. Hurling himself upon the floor in a giant hissy fit of frustration when he didn’t get his way got old in a hurry. His dad and I, anxious to get past this stage, rarely acknowledged the behavior. From time to time, though, one or the other of us would throw our hands up in mock resignation and say something like, “Well look at that! Our Jonathan is broken! I guess we’ll just have to get a new one.” Then we would scoop him up and carry him toward the trashcan, sometimes even going as far as plopping him into it (when it was empty, of course). These tactics really irritated the hell out of him, until one day he’d done something (I can’t even remember what) that landed him in a world of trouble and he just knew he was going to get a spanking. When his misdeed was discovered, Jonathan was nowhere to be found. I walked through the apartment calling his name until I got to the kitchen, where I found him chest-deep in the trashcan. “Time to get a new Jonathan!” he informed me.
In spite of the challenges we had, I couldn’t be prouder today of the man my son has become. He has retained his gift with words and his knack for dramatic moments. His sense of humor knocks me out and I remained surprised by exactly how much he is capable of, after all. I’m also always impressed with his tenderness towards his young cousins and his younger brothers. His heart is as big as Texas and almost as big as his feet, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Happy birthday, Jonathan!!! I love you and I miss you like crazy.!http://images.fabulously40.com/uploadedimage/1706/thumbx320/Jonathan-and-Me-1997.jpg!