Twenty years ago today, we welcomed son number two into our lives.
In 2000, I stayed home from that international dairy show I’ve talked about missing this year. In fact, I have only missed that show twice in my life: once when I was living abroad and once for this child’s birth.
When the kids were young, my children accompanied me to the Midwest. They saw their Illinois relatives, and I worked at the show. We would make it a point to have a special birthday celebration while we there (with a second back home here in Vermont, since Daddy usually didn’t come with us). Son number two (and son number one, and eventually our daughter) loved those trips.
Eventually, though, there were too many things going on at home, and they had to stop coming. Around that same time, I also had more business opportunities that required me to stay longer, too.
As a result, I missed many birthdays—although it also meant that people have sung “happy birthday” to him in many languages over the years. I’ve always made it a point to do something special after I returned, too. Overall, I think we’ve struck a fair balance.
Still, it was fun to be here today for birthday number 20. It is a milestone of sorts, the end of the teen years and another step on that inevitable march towards full adulthood. We celebrated with a steak supper cooked by Dad on the grill, a cake made by his sister… and everyone seated around the table together.
Including mom this year.
Happy birthday, son number two. Your birthday supper is my silver lining today!