Today is my son’s nineteenth birthday. And it’s the first time in many years that I won’t wake him up with kisses and my discordant rendition of “Happy Birthday,” or make him his favorite birthday dinner (stuffed shells), or present him with a Carvel ice cream cake late in the evening when his homework has been completed and he can finally relax.
I find myself feeling much like I felt in those first few days after he departed for college 350 miles away from us. The house feels too empty, too quiet. I am unprepared for this overwhelming sense that something is missing. My heart feels heavy.
Yet, I am so grateful he has friends who are making this first “adult” birthday away from home special for him. They have planned dinner and a movie for tonight, and have presented him with gifts that reveal to me they truly do know the heart of my boy.
So I am waiting until the clock reads 10:35am. I asked my son to let me be his wake up call this morning. I will sing out of tune, wish him the happiest of birthdays over the telephone, and tell him how much I love him and hope he enjoys this special day with his new friends.
For today this phone call will mean everything to me. And it will be enough.