Thanksgiving 1997.

Thanksgiving 1997.

Today is my son’s birthday.

His 17th one.

And for the first time ever, I’m not with him. I can’t hug him more than he wants me to. I can’t tell him, again, the story of his birth. And I can’t bake him a birthday cake from scratch. (Oh, right, I wouldn’t do that anyway.)

It’s his Spring Break and he’s off skiing with his dad and his sister.

And I just woke up to a view of the Las Vegas Strip and of the Spring Mountains beyond.

Our separation is one of those by-products of divorce. This is his dad’s year to have our kids for the week-long break. And his dad decided to do something special this year because it’s the last Spring Break he’ll have with the kids before Will goes off to college.

Which is great for the kids. They’ve never been skiing before. They’re in Utah where the conditions are perfect right now. And they’re loving the change in climate as well as learning how to ski.

While they’re skiing, my husband and I are in Las Vegas, using the opportunity of the kids’ absence to have our own little getaway.  And Vegas is one of our favorite places to go.

So even though Will’s having a grand time, and I’m having a grand time, I’m sad to be away from him today.

Sadder than I thought I would be.

I’m picturing the hug I would give him. One that would be around his waist because he’s so much taller than me. I’m thinking of everything I want to say to him. How much I love him. How proud I am of the young man he is. And how excited I am for his future: his upcoming senior year in high school, then going off to college.

Sure he’s a little messy. A little forgetful. And can be a little mouthy. But he’s a really good kid. Kind, smart, appreciative and loving.

I got to be with him for his first 16 birthdays. So I’m thankful for that.

And this weekend, when we all return home, I’ll get to wish him a happy birthday in person. To hug him really, really hard. Tell him how much I love him. And then we’ll have our own celebration. A little belatedly but that’s okay.

I’ll just have to consider this absence to be practice for the future. Like two years from now when he’s off at college.

But I’ll get to be with him next year. That’s when he’ll be turning 18.

I can wait. What’s the big hurry?

Happy birthday Will. I love you.


Will and me