Today is Tom’s birthday. The gifts are already crashing in: $50, a new bike, and other exciting things soon to arrive. But today he’s my Gift. Thirteen years ago today, Tom honored me with Motherhood. He’s been my greatest teacher ever since. He’s forgiven my mistakes (and there have been many), glossed over the fine details and has accepted me as I am in the Big Picture. He’s the first to comfort me when I’m harried and, oddly enough, he’s gotten to be one of my more sensible children (sometimes more sensible than Dirk ~ go figure). What I appreciate about Tom is his self-assuredness; he knows what he wants and goes after it. He’s intelligent, eager, gentle, aware, artistically talented, loves animals.
Tom and I share one special thing: we love solitude. Sure we’ve got our friends and we enjoy our time with family and all; but when it’s just him and me alone at home, we just bathe in the space that is ours. While Ian is doing the Social Butterfly thing, while Bennie is at yet another friend’s house, while Dirk is working, Tom and I weave this secret, silent space. We’re each doing different things, but in the same room. I know he likes these times; he’s told me so as he defends the Empire from Rebel Scum on some Star Wars game and I’m cruising the internet or knitting or spinning. We’ve rarely had to do something together in order to have Quality Time. We seem to know it’s enough just to be together doing what we love in the same Sacred Space.
Right now, I’m home alone for the last few days before Summer Vacation. Tom is finishing up a Spanish exam. The birthday plan is low-key: Nacho Libre and the Hudson Chinese Buffet, just him and nine of his friends. Whether I can make the party depends on how I feel. But even if I’m here alone Friday night while he’s enjoying the movie and dinner, I’ll be with him in his joy.
Happy Birthday, Tom!