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John’s Birthday

Today is John’s 22nd birthday. In case you haven’t been keeping track, John is my third oldest son.

John came into this world as a seven and a half pound, twenty inch baby. He was, like he is now, in a hurry. The doctor barely made it in time to deliver John. The doctor and I pushed the bed, holding John’s mother, into a corner to give the doctor room to kneel at the end. There was no time to move her to a delivery room.

If John could remember that day he would say his first sight was a doctor in a lime green suit with a smock hurriedly thrown over it. He would say the first person to hold him was his father. He would also tell you, I was wearing a baseball cap, like I often do now, and no smock. John met me wearing what he has seen me wear most days of his life. Time was too short to put on the traditional garments of smocks and surgical caps.

A baseball cap would have to do.

John could say words at six months and could take steps on his own not long after. He had two big brothers who had no time for a baby so they made sure he grew up fast. They obviously thought babies were boring but little brothers could serve a purpose.

John could play the outfield or hike the ball, rebound missed free throws. All the jobs suitable for the youngest brother. He could become Dad’s team’s equalizer in all games of two on two.

The problem was John.

He was in a hurry.

He wanted to pitch, he wanted to quarterback, he wanted to shoot the ball. And on occasion, believe it or not, his brothers let him.

They also put a video game controller in his hand and I am not sure if he ever put it down.

He plays a lot of video games when he is not making brake parts at his job.

He plays online with people around the world but he also seems to attract friends from around the globe too. It’s not unusual for John to have six or seven friends over. It makes stretching dinner a challenge at times but luckily we live close to a Little Caesars.

For example John invited “a few close friends” to his birthday party one year, in high school, and his whole class showed up. Now, we live in a small town, but we are still talking 117 teenagers came to his party.

John may not be the most popular kid in town but that kid probably hangs out in our basement, turned man cave, with John.

Today I hope 117 kids aren’t showing up to his party but I hope he has a good time.

Even at 22 he will get cake and ice cream. He will get sung to by his brothers, his mother and I and whoever else does show up.

He will grab his cake, he will snatch a bowl of ice cream and he will be off again in a hurry as soon as he opens his presents.

Because after 22 years it’s hard to break old habits.

John Through the Years – Click to Enlarge


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