Today is The Prude’s baby’s 19th birthday.
He is mildly excited because he will get some favorite food, a few Facebook greetings, a cake of his choosing, and probably a few gift cards out of it.
But to him, 19 is not a milestone year.
6 was a milestone because it meant he needed both hands to count his age.
11 was also– two hands were not enough to contain finger/year correspondance.
13 of course entered teenhood.
16 meant driver’s license and dangling a sleepless mom on the end of a string as he caroused at Culver’s till 10 pm and drove home ON HIS OWN.
18 of course means adulthood. Weird things with taxes.
21 means further recognition of adulthood, a possibility of someone legally offering him some beers in spite of his mother’s scowling facial contortions.
And card manufacturers ensure that 30, 40 50 and 60 are greeted with their very own cards, people who throw you nerve-wracking surprise parties, and confetti that is available in each of the above nice round numbers to remind one that there are no longer enough fingers, toes or teeth to keep track of one's years.
65 is an arbitrary government introduced landmark and 75 is three-quarters of a century, and every single year after that is an astounding gift.
Except for his mother.
She has cherished every year and every milestone.
She has prayed countless prayers and given countless thanks.
She loves all 76 and ¾ inches of him.
Happy birthday, baby.
Nineteen is a wonderful number.