We were watching “Lars and the Real Girl” a few weeks ago, and there’s a scene in which Lars asks his brother what it means to be a “man.” His brother answers that being faithful and taking care of the people you love is what makes a man (in more appropriately manly words).
It’s not just age.
Today, 33 years ago, the world got a little bit better, because Lewis Maverick McNeel was born. I wasn’t around to notice, but I’m sure that if I had been, I would have woken up a little happier without even knowing why. I think I’d have felt it.
I’ve gotten to celebrate the last three of those with this guy.
Every year I feel like there’s not really a gift to sum up how happy I am that he’s in the world.
His birthdays have included surprise parties, flamenco dancers, five course meals…still, nothing really communicates just how happy I am that he was born.
But this one is different. This time, I am absolutely positive that the events of his birthday will show Lewis how and why I am so very thankful for him…
Today is so full of semi-birthday semi-fun that the only time he could go to CrossFit was at 6:30 am.
While he was gone (and I was just waking up), sensing the occasion, Florence decided to make a present on the floor. I could not leave the bedroom without gagging so hard my eyes watered, and so the present was there waiting when he got home. (Though, I will say that when I fled the stench, I fled to Bakery Lorraine to get him some breakfast).
The shower curtain got so excited that it fell down.
“Birthday lunch” was planned exactly 15 minutes in advance.
And his birthday night will begin with an elementary school choir concert.
Lewis diligently went to work out at 6:30 am. He came home and cleaned up the poop. He doesn’t know about the shower curtain yet…but usually when it falls down, he just gets out the ladder and hangs it right back up. He let me change the time of his impromptu lunch 2 different times, without letting on if it threw of his schedule. And he’s happily dressed to impress for the elementary choir event. Which he’s going to for our growing-up flower girl, whom he’s come to love like part of the family.
So today, more than any other birthday, I can look at everything that’s happened and say, “This, this, Lewis McNeel, is why your birthday deserves to be celebrated. You are patient, kind, dutiful, loving, strong, and capable. And you have a somewhat compromised sense of smell, which is really helpful when the house smells of dog sh**.”
You, Lewis McNeel, are a man, and we, your whole little family, are very very thankful for each of your 33 years.