This was written by my husband on Griffin's birthday last week...
Griffin is 5 today.
Birthdays are a big deal, especially for kids like Griffin. Both of my sons have planned their birthdays through the 2016 election, complete with themes, types of cake, venue, etc. I suspect that soon, we will have to book celebrity appearances. While I would go for Mike Huckabee or the gang from College Gameday, the kids are more the Power Rangers types.
But for now, we will keep it simple. Tonight, there will be hamburgers and cake. In Griffin's wonderful mind, he figured that he wanted something for his birthday dinner that involved catsup and mustard, so let it be. And there will be presents, wrapped in Spiderman paper.
For the 5 year old, that's as good as any grown-up feast at Commander's Palace, maybe even better.
After all, it's Griffin's special day.
Thinking back across five years, I have sweet, precious memories of my youngest son.One of my favorite was coming home late after a late night at the newspaper, and seeing Jenny in the rocker holding Griffie, who was sleeping in a psychedelic tie-dyed T-shirt and a diaper. A Grateful Dead concert from 1970 was on television.It was a sweet image of a rock n' roll Mother and Child. That, too, was a special day.
Griffie was a tough pregnancy for Jen, and he spent the first days of his life in a little light bed, sort of a tanning booth to remedy some sort of deficiency. He was a gift from God, to be sure.
He doesn't know it, because I do a lousy job of telling him so, but every day with Griffie is a special day, a precious gift richer than can be imagined. There is never a day that he doesn't make me laugh, and rarely a day he doesn't ask me a question that makes me really think. And every night, I help get him off to sleep. Almost every day, he tells me "You are my Chi-Chi," or I tell him that he is mine. Though he has never defined exactly what a Chi-Chi is, he has told us that it's good.
He doesn't know that every time I watch him sprint on the seminary playground, after a ball or light sabre, it makes me cry, just as it does whenever I see my children running without acoutrements. (Those who know me will understand. And it makes me cry with joy every time he springs some child theology on us --as only he can, about the goodness of God. It's a goodness I've seen since Griffie, my Chi-Chi, came into the world.
Somewhere, Chi-Chi Rodriguez, the great PGA golfer, is smiling.
But for nearly 2,000 days, Griffin has given me a gift, by being my son. He has it rough sometimes, being the middle kid between his brilliant brother and beautiful sister. But God has made only one Griffin, who's smart and funny and athletic; a kid who loves Auburn football and Boston baseball and Big Papi. He fights "bad guys" daily, but is a gentle spirit who loves "Kipper" and "Little Bear." He likes to hear "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and "Jesus Loves Me."
And he loves his family. And oh, how his family loves him.
I do not know what the future holds for Griffie, but my prayer is that God will bless him. And I pray that I will be a Dad worthy of such a precious little boy, especially on this, his special day.
After all, he is my Chi-Chi.
Cheeseburgers with mustard and catsup all around.
It's Griffin's special day.