Today is Tim's 21st birthday. That is just a little bit mind boggling to me because it seems like yesterday he arrived in our lives. It is fascinating to me that my offspring can be adults while I have not aged. The wonders of Science!
Tim was born on Fathers Day. He was a few days late and I was more than ready to be done with the pregnancy. That morning I gave Steve two Father's Day presents, one from each child, because I assumed we would already have the baby by Fathers Day. As I handed the gifts over to him I said, "if this baby isn't here by midnight, you have to give one of those back". Charming, wasn't I. Tim did not let his father down, he arrived in time for the 10PM news.
When Tim was born something clicked in me. "I thought, OK, this is a FAMILY." I don't know why. Eddie was already two years old and we had been caring for him and doing all family things since he was born. But the arrival of child #2 was the end of the novelty of being a parent and the beginning of honest to God real life parenting. On the way home from the hospital I was completely overwhelmed with this thought. As we drove, we passed my old high school and other landmarks from my childhood. I was thinking - I had a whole life before I even knew Steve and now we have TWO KIDS!. Steve, not knowing what was going on in my head asked why I was so quiet. I looked at him wide eyed and said/shrieked:
"We have two children and I hardly know you."
(There is a slight possibility the hormones were at play there.) That phrase has become a staple in this house. If I ask Steve something mundane, e.g.if he wants mustard on his sandwich, he will sigh and say, "You hardly know me." It still makes both of us laugh.
Tim was a wild man as a baby. His favorite thing to do was to bang his head on the hardwood floor and then give a huge grin when I would rush over to stop him. He was big and brawny from the get go and he and Eddie were a hilarious pair. They still are.
When Maggie arrived, she and Tim formed an instant and lasting bond. He loved to hold her when she was little. I've put this picture up a few times, but it is my favorite.
If he's here and watching the game or something, he will pull her out of her chair to sit with him. He talks about the strategy of baseball. Maggie is a great listener. If something goes wrong in the game, he tells her, That guy is a BUM and Maggie signs yes.
Maggie adores Tim. She adores Eddie too, but Tim is here and I get to see it more often. When he walk into the room she starts jumping around in her chair, even if he's just been upstairs for 20 minutes. He gives her advice about school and boys. She listens intently and then laughs in his face, as any little sister would. He gets s stern face and points at her and then she laughs so hard she almost stops breathing. By then he's laughing too.
Tim is the middle of the 3 kids and in many ways the anchor for the other two. He is fiercely loyal to friends and family and absolutely hilarious to be around. He was here last night and left at 11:00 to ring in his birthday at midnight. It was off to a rousing start, but having to be at work at 7AM may have slowed things down a bit. Maybe I have aged a bit, because that is FINE with me.
Here he is in his white sport coat, circa 1962 and painting shorts as he heads out for what I'm sure was his very first beer* on his 21st birthday.
*oh, except for the one in his hand.