Yesterday we celebrated with our oldest son as he turned 21. I say our son, even though technically he's not related to me. When DH and I married 12 years ago, he brought one child with him and I brought two. The boys are just 6 weeks apart in age, though they couldn't be farther apart in personality. Anyway, I tried hard to keep myself separate from this oldest boy, who I'll designate T-Dog. After all, he had a mother, and I was just the substitute when he was with us. He was about this big when I met him.
He and our other Collegeboy had some good times and, although they were never best friends, I think I can safely say that they have genuine affection for each other. They played soccer together; they played baseball, they played basketball stars.
T-Dog, a former only child, enjoyed playing with his new brother and little sister, The Princess.
He grew up; they all did. He was the first to actually wear an item I'd knitted.
He was the tallest drum major to lead the band. Here's the prize-winning Shorecrest High School band at the St. Patrick's Day parade in Seattle in 2006.
The sports didn't end with soccer, no sir. T-Dog is multi-talented and super athletic, and counts golf, tennis, basketball, and track in his repertoire along with the aforementioned soccer and baseball. He was on the first place 4x400 relay team at the Washington State track championships in 2006. The guys look happy, don't they?
The boys graduated high school, they started college. T-Dog stayed in town, Collegeboy went across the state. I became the shortest person in the family.
So last night, we had the privilege of having dinner with T-Dog, his roommate, his girlfriend, and The Princess at The Cheesecake Factory. We bought him his first legal drink, we gave him some gifts, and we had a lovely time with these great young people. Our other Collegeboy is away at school; he'll have to catch up on his next visit home.
I am proud to say that over the years, my relationship with this young man has grown into one that I cherish. We talk, we play tennis, we enjoy each other's company. For many years, I was constantly trying to find something that he did wrong, but it didn't happen very often. No one could be that perfect! He survived divorce, living between two houses, and suddenly becoming an oldest sibling with much equanimity. I think we were good for him and he was good for us. We've all had something to teach each other and lots to learn.
Happy Birthday, T-Dog. I wish you many more years of health and happiness. We love you.