4/2/12

A Very Good Day

Today is Matthew's 28th birthday.  Impossible.  Matthew is my youngest child, and so that can only mean I'm moving into an age group that I'd just as soon not think about.  His birthday has been an occasion for taking a trip down memory lane as I've considered what to reveal about him today, his special day.

Matthew was born 14 months following the loss of our daughter.  He brought sunshine and joy to a very dark time.  So urgent was my needed to hold a healthy baby in my arms and to see healthy pink color that I found myself overwhelmed with emotion when I first laid eyes on him.  I was wholly unable to stop crying or even to understand what the tears were about.  They could only have been a mixture of joy and profound relief at his safe arrival.


As we listened to his incensed screaming at being yanked so rudely from the womb, I can recall my doctor commenting that Matthew was pretty insulted about being wrapped in a pink blanket.  Indeed!

If one could order certain desirable newborn characteristics from a catalog, then the newborn received would have been just like Matthew.  He was the most easy-going of newborns, sleeping for deliciously long stretches, nursing well, smiling early, easily, and often.


He was alert and curious and possessed an active imagination.  We would soon find out that keeping up with Matthew's view of the world wouldn't just involved thinking outside the box.  We would need to take two giant steps outside the box and live there with him, and I mean that in the most delightful of ways.

When we went to the grocery store, Matthew came equipped with his Ghostbusters backpack.  He preceded me at every turn of the aisle, clearing the way of ghosts and other lurking monsters.  It was always funny to see the amused looks of complete strangers as they caught on to being the beneficiaries of Matthew's safety measures.  When we went on a houseboat vacation one summer, Matthew spent the whole week with a stick stuffed down the back of his shirt, as he imagined himself a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle ready for action on a moment's notice.

He was born with drumming in his soul and could at times drive us to distraction with his incessant drumming on every available surface.  No available surface?  No problem!  His own body made an excellent drum during those times.  Drumming was, and still is, his life force.  His considerable talent has served him well as a way to earn money while attending college.


He is among the most creative people I know, and his creativity will undoubtedly serve him well in his chosen field of engineering.


He has an adventurous spirit that has taken him far and wide.  He has embarked on journeys that would be disquieting for those of us bogged down by sound reasoning.  As his mother, I'm grateful that he usually reserves sharing those outings with me until he's already out of harm's way . . . like the time he went sky-diving with a group of his friends on a complete lark.  Or when he traveled in Brazil with scarcely any resources with which to live or to eat.  He apparently learned how to land on his feet from our many cats.  It's an important skill to have when one is unburdened by fear.  Is it any wonder that I've adopted "Wear Your Helmet" as my personal mother's mantra?

Matthew continues to enrich our lives in ways we couldn't have imagined on that happiest of days 28 years ago.  And he still smiles easily and often.


So, Happy Birthday, Matthew!  Make it a good one.  The only thing that would make me happier today would be spending it there with you in K-Falls helping you celebrate.  I hope the cookies will suffice to bring me to you in spirit.  Spread your wings and soar.  Your journey is only just beginning.  


18 comments from clever and witty friends:

Irina said...

I love the first photo! and I think my hormones are over the roof because you made me cry with your first words.
Happy birthday to Matthew!

Bianca said...

Beautiful said. Very moving.
Would have loved to have a child like your Matthew.
Congratulations on bringing such a beautiful man in this world 28 years ago.
Bianca

Vroomans' Quilts said...

It has to be the name Matthew - I have one the same age and much the same spirit. So happy birthday!!

Wilma NC said...

Very nice post. Makes me miss my son, Jack, who lives in California.

Becky said...

How sweet this post was.My youngest is 27.So I think we are getting old Barbara,lol.Very adorable first photo.Much luck to him and a Happy Birthday too!

Simplesmente Silvinha (Simply Silvia) said...

Hi Barbara , your son came at my country ? When ? He liked ?
Congratulations for him , every year we became we are a winner. My big boy will do 26y at 12 April and My little boy made 24y at January, the time is so quickly , your post was me travel at time....
Good Week
Silvia

Dana Gaffney said...

I have tears in my eyes, what a beautiful post Barbara. Happy Birthday to both of you.

Rachel said...

Happy Birthday Matthew!

Terry said...

what a wonderful tribute to your son. You must be very proud.

Needled Mom said...

What a gorgeous post. Happy birthday to Matthew. I am sure it will be a wonderful day of celebrations and best wishes for a terrific year ahead.

tubilinha tiacarminha said...

Que bom que seu filho esteve aqui,nesta terra linda verde e amarela.Abençoada por DEUS e bonita por natureza.Que falou seu filho sobre terra e povo?Somos conhecidos por sempre divertidos,e hospitaleiros.Seja bem vindo sempre.Parabéns para seu filho e para você que o colocou no mundo e lhe deu liberdade para seguir em frente com sua vida, sempre compartilhando com a mãe as suas as suas venturas.Um grande beijo aos dois,felicidades!

Matthew said...

Well this certainly had me waking up smiling! Unfortunately today is the first day of classes of the term, so there is a limit on how wonderful the day can be, but I will do my best. Love you Mom!

Silvinha - Morei em Brazil por um ano durante de 2008. Fiquei em Rio Grande Do Sul por 6 meses e tambem em Rio De Janeiro na uma ilha chamada de Ilha Grande fora da costa de Angra dos Reis. Gostei bastante. Nunca quis sair, mas fiquei bem quebrado no final de meu viagem e quasi sem-casa. Voltei pra os estados em 2009. No futuro vou morar em Brasil de novo, mas na promixa vez eu vou ter dinheiro ou emprego antes de entrando no aviao ;)

Diane Wild said...

It's so wonderful to have offspring turn out so well. You did a lovely tribute, Barb. Happy birthday to Matt.

Sand and Sunshine said...

Happy birthday to your son.

Dirt Road Quilter said...

Oh my! Look at those gorgeous blue eyes and that infectious smile! Sounds like life is an adventure for him and shouldn't we all have a bit of adventure in our lives. Happy Birthday to your boy!

Quilter In Paradise said...

a great tribute to your son and the love you have for him. ( and he's very handsome, too! )
thanks for sharing his story
Beth in Dallas

Teresa in Music City said...

How lovely Barbara! Your love for your son and admiration for the man he has grown to be is evident in every word! I hope he reads your blog, and I hope he still knows how to blush, because he will!!!!

Kate said...

Happy birthday to Matthew (a day late). Do you ever feel like even though it's their birthday that it's also our "real" mother's day and that's the only gift we really need is that it's our child's birthday? Thanks for sharing, it reminds me to appreciate every minute with the Drama Teen.