Happy Birthday, Son!
For many years, I thought of myself as 26 years old. It mattered not how many birthdays came and went, in my mind, I was perennially 26. Of course, more recently, reality has set in…..I now think of myself as 46. Which is why it is impossible that my son is celebrating his 40th birthday this month. But he is.
Which brings me to fondly remembering 3 silly incidents in his young life that have achieved the status of legend in our family. The first is the Christmas Apple. One of my students gave me a very special gift for the holiday season. She had taken an apple that was still on the tree and laid over it a stencil that had “Merry Christmas” cut out. The sun, after several days or weeks, had burned in the message so that when the stencil was removed, the message was permanently written on the surface of the apple.
When I came home, I placed it on the table to show the family later that evening and went out to do some chores. Later, after dinner, I remembered the apple and that I wanted to share it with the family but it was gone. I asked, “What happened to the Christmas apple on the table?” Lewis piped up, “It was delicious!”
The second we call The Kite That Went to Long Island. It was a beautiful summer day at the beach and Lewis had a small kite he was flying. Suddenly, a strong gust of wind pulled the string out of his hand. We watched in awe as the kite string skipped over the water and took it on a straight path across Long Island Sound. When it was out of sight, the adults around him all laughed. “Imagine being a person on the shore of Long Island and seeing a kite come in from the water!” we said, laughing. Sadly, our enjoyment was at Lewis’s expense and it wasn’t until years later that he could see the humor in the incident!
Finally, Lookalot (pronounced Luke-a-lot), a game that Lewis invented. Lewis was always so innovative when it came to games and toys. He would frequently make up his own rules or let his imagination take over by creating new ways to do old things. Lewis decided that he was going to invent a new game that was played on a checkerboard. When I asked him what the rules were, and how you won, he thought for a minute and said, “There are no rules!” I questioned him again, “You mean we can do anything we want?” He answered yes. “Who goes first?” I asked. “You do,” he said. So, I took the board filled with checkers and dumped it over his head. “I win,” I said triumphantly, “that was my rule!”