The Stakes Are Higher

July 23, 2019

Today is my Son’s 5th birthday.

It’s a significant one, if only mostly to me. This is because my 5th birthday is a day I count amongst my earliest memories in life. I remember, in great detail, my blue frosting slathered Cookie Monster cake. It was delivered to me on the picnic table of my grandfather’s back porch. The old porch before the new porch. My mom and dad were there. My newborn sister. Grandpa. Aunt Meg. Uncle Fran and Aunt Molly. Basically, my whole universe at that time. I remember it in surprising detail.

I don’t remember — at least I don’t think I do — anything before that day.

This is why my Son’s 5th birthday today feels so heavy. To me, this is the beginning of the rest of his life. The first 5 years was a comedy of parenting by fire for my wife and I. But we, and more importantly he, survived. All things considered, I think we did a pretty damn good job. But now, the stakes are higher. Things will be remembered. Imprinted. Codified.

With nervous excitement, I look forward with my head held high, ready to take on anything.