So what’s changed as of today, now that you’re (legally) able to buy your own booze? Is any advice or influence that I might offer still relevant, or does the fact that you’ve matured into a grown man allow you to listen even closer?
I can only imagine what’s going through your mind. My 21st birthday was entirely different from yours. I had already been in the Navy, gotten married, and was back in college working on my undergraduate degree. You’re in college, and, in a very short time, will be out on your own. Once and for all, your childhood is over. Turning 18 might have been a legal milestone, but you know (now) that most people that age are far from being adults.
You were my second son, and dude - you were huge. Your brother is 13 months older than you, but he was 6 pounds, 10 ounces when he was born. YOU, dude, tipped the scales at TEN pounds, six ounces!
Today is literally the First Day of the Rest of Your Life. It's the beginning of your life as a grown man. I'm so absolutely proud of you, remembering the little guy whose two best friends were his older brother, and a well-loved, timeworn elephant named Ralphie.
It's been a wild ride, pal.
“Seize the time. Live now. Make now always the most important time. Now will never come again.”
(Okay, granted, it’s from a Star Trek episode. But it’s still an awesome sentiment.)
You’re now making your own choices and trusting in your own judgments. You don’t need me as much any longer, but know that I’m still here, ready to offer counsel or help if you need it.
In many ways, I miss the little boy who looked at me with those huge, brown, adoring eyes, and who loved playing "Set, Ready, GO!" in the hallway. You made me feel like I was the King of the World. I’m so absolutely proud of the man that you’ve become – and are becoming. I can't wait to see what the future holds for you - but I will.
This is gonna be fun.
Happy birthday, Son.
I love you.