Friday, October 20, 2006


One of the things sociology teaches you is that there are not necessarily any absolutes. There are social constructions, which people accept as absolutes, as Truths, but they are fairly arbitrary and could, if agreed upon, be changed at a moment's notice.

Turning 18 is one of those. There isn't any real reason why having breathed and had a pulse for 18 years should give you any sort of rights other breathing, pulsed beings don't have. But, once upon a time, someone decided that 18 would be a threshhold into adulthood. It would be the point at which legal reliance on one's parents stopped, and all the joys and pitfalls of standing on one's own two feet would be thrust upon you.

My son is 18 today.

He has long since been quite mature. When his dad died, I stopped many a person (including my own Daddy) in mid-sentence when they started to say, "You'll have to be the man of the house now." Uh-uh. He was nine. He didn't have to be anything but nine.

But he has always thought, always pondered, always cared, always empathized, always weighed. He's always had manners (the hospice nurse, on speaking with him on the phone, would gush, "He sounds so growny!") He's always been smart and verbal and wickedly funny. He's a whiz at voices, and might, were there such a competition, be crowned The Most Exasperating Older Brother of All Time (were his sister on the judging panel.)

He was, at first, due on September 24th. That got moved to October 5th. Which came and went. As did over a dozen additional days. He did not respond to labor-inducing drugs, but, on the night that Kurt Gibson hit the home run that made the Dodgers win the 1988 World Series (go ahead, look it up. If I'm wrong, remember I was heavy with child at the time!), he sent me into labor at 12:32 am. Thirteen hours and two minutes later, there he was. Big : 9 pounds, 10 ounces. Named for both his grandfathers. Our son.

His father could never have known that his driving passion would become acting. He didn't know it himself until a few years ago. His father has missed him growing up and past me, going on dates, cracking jokes, being the family's moral compass. I've had those privileges. And I know he doesn't like the idea of blogging, and I know --- and have said here --- that he doesn't like his picture posted, but he, even at Legal Age, can't stop me from telling people about him. Can't stop me from saying I've been crazy in love with him every minute of his life, and crazy proud of him, too. Absolutely.

Happy Birthday, Briton.


At 7:56 PM, Blogger Annie said...

That's so beautiful Kim. Happy Birthday Briton. And you know Briton we all would like to see an 18th Birthday photo of you.

At 8:03 PM, Anonymous Carrie K said...

Happy Birthday, Briton!

At 1:13 PM, Blogger Jade said...

What a sweet post! And a very happy birthday to Briton.

At 3:02 PM, Anonymous Fybr Grrl said...

Happy Birthday to Briton!
I discovered another similarity between us- October 20th is also a very special day in my life!
Hope you are feeling better soon.


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