Today the only man I've ever been completely happy to be in a long term relationship with turns eleven. My son, my Big Dog, is having another Happy Birthday.
He wasn't born a Big Dog. For many years he was my Puppy... until the day that is that he looked at me and with great authority said, "Mom, I'm not a puppy any more. I'm a Big Dog".
I woke up the Big D this morning with a bowl of chocolate cereal and my patented Happy Birthday song. He likes it when I sing about looking like a monkey and the horrible smell that probably goes along with it. As I belted it at the top of my lungs, I had to wonder how much longer it will be until he informs me he's too old and too sophisticated for monkey birthday songs, and for chocolate cereal.
Yesterday the two of us popped over to Wally World to pick up some goodies for his classmates in celebration of his birthday. "You're short, Mom," he said, his voice cracking with every other word. "When did you get so short?"
My heart felt a little funny and my eyes started to puddle. My Big Dog really is getting to be a big dog.
"I need some new soap, Mom."
Wow. That's new. Usually soap is like cryptonite to him.
"And I want that soap that smells good."
Oh crap. I know what this means. It's the cycle of a man's life. In the beginning, they hate soap and everything it stands for and will spend a great deal of time and energy avoiding it at all costs.
Later on, when their hormones are in full swing and they begin to figure out that the female of the species is the most perfect and desirable thing on Earth, they not only want soap, they want soap that smells good. My baby has apparently reached this stage.
Not to worry though. As soon as a man gets married he comes full circle and begins to think of soap as a frivolous expenditure and rations it like it's liquid gold.
"I need some floss, too. I don't like the kind we have."
My son, the kid whose room consistently smells like a gym where only dead people work out, is asking for dental floss. If he asks me for condoms, I am going to kill myself with his Red Zone and cherry flavored dental floss.
"Hey Mom," he said as we were walking toward the register with his chick magnet soap, "For my birthday, I want a DVD of that old show Dukes of hazard."
"Well, I already have your present, but I'll tell Daddy."
Even though Number Two and I have been divorced for a long time, I still call him Daddy...even to his face. Our relationship has been filed in the "B" for "Bizarre" category for years.
"Ok," he said and then with a thoughtful look, "Make sure he gets the one that is in color."
In color? What is he talking about? "Son, all the Dukes of hazard episodes were in color!"
"No way, Mom. They didn't even have colored TV back then."
My kid evidently thinks his Mother is a hundred and grew up in the Little House on the Prairie. I guess that is as it should be. Kids need to think their parents were never young and lived in the stone ages next door to Fred and Wilma.
This boy, this funny, perfect, love of my life is eleven. I can hardly believe it. He's beautiful, with his blonde spikes and long legs and giant smile and I am the luckiest Mom in the entire world. Nothing I have ever done in my life could have come even close to making me deserving of my children. They are my love, my joy, my everything.
Happy Birthday, Big Dog.
Copyright © 2004-2005, Sherri Bailey
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