Two decades ago today, I went to the hospital in the morning, and in the afternoon I had a sweet new nine-pound baby boy in my arms.
Later in the day my first-born, Miss Bee, came to meet her little brother. Up to then, Bee was my Tiny One: she had always seemed so cuddly and small when I held her, my adorable little 22-month-old towhead.
Someone must have added growth pills to Bee's PB&J at lunch that day, because when she came toddling in the hospital room and climbed on my bed to snuggle and to bestow her first sisterly kiss upon Harry, she suddenly seemed to be the lumbering size of a teenager by comparison. Gargantuan.
How time flies warpedly, I thought at the time. How quickly they grow before your eyes and you don't notice the increments. "The days are long and the years are short," advised Harry's godmother. It was true. Before I knew it Harry himself was toddling in his yellow Hanna Andersson overalls (in the photo above) just as his sister had the day he was born.
Now here we are, two decades later. As of today, I am no longer the mother of a teenager. Today Harry is twenty. How can that be?
To Harry: believe it or not, I remember turning twenty myself and thinking "Aagh, this is the end of the world as I know it." And it is, in a way, kiddo, but you deal with it. And it's not all bad.
From my perspective, the only better place in the world than Paris is wherever your sweetheart is. And today my Sweet Heart, my baby boy-ee is on the other side of the Atlantic celebrating this milestone without me.
I have lots of photos of both kids in my apartment to keep me company.
I have his self-portrait, painted his senior year in high school, as an award-winning souvenir hanging on my apartment wall in Paris. (Such talent!)
We can Skype and e-mail and all that. But it ain't the same. Transatlantic momma aches to be with her youngest as he crosses the threshold to his third decade.
Happy Birthday, Harry!
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