THEY SAY IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY

Looking back, we were wasting our time, both of us.

Stopping en route to see “The Three Stooges Movie”, just months ago, Michael and I split the investment in an Instant Lottery. It was, you know, the type you buy at a gas station. (I think the prize was $100/ week for 20 years, or something like that).

Suspense built as two generations spoke of prospective earnings! “If we get this third one”, he exclaimed as he rubbed.

We didn’t cash that day. (Go figure). Still, it mattered not. My son, you see, won the lottery years ago—ten to be exact. It was in a Manhattan bar, the third night of Passover…when his eyes first met Meredith’s.

Thirty-two yesterday, the lady that became his North Star. No longer the burgeoning coed, she is so much more. One decade later, alas, the Lady From Lehigh is family, friend and confidante.

I wonder
.
Does it get old for her, hearing she’s the best thing to happen to Michael? Or that she’s an extraordinary mother? That’s what they say, you know. And what I see.

I watch how she coddles Max, and nurtures him. I hear when she reads to him, ever softening her tone as he readies for bed. And I love too, how she, (just partially tongue-in-cheek), shares with others that she’s “raising two children”.

My angle is perfect, so to speak. ‘Though visits are temporal—I fly in, unpack, observe and fly out—I view what I must. This is a woman that’s hitting her stride. Pensive but verbal, brimming with confidence, she is on her game.

I love too, our relationship. How many people do we really know that have our back, our heart, and still share their candor.

“Bruce!” she once said, “your outfit is hideous!” (OK, she spoke it more than once…twice this weekend alone). Or the time we were at the park with her son: “Bruce,” she laughed, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you move so fast in my life!”

Or her best, (heard most visits):

“Bruce, would you like to baby-sit Max?”

There’s a rhythm to my trips out east. Always. Rushing off the plane I push toward the exit, searching the horizon for the car to pull up…the one with The Prince in a car seat. Two days will pass—sometimes three—-and I’ll not so much speak as observe. Then I’ll go. Always.
It’s never easy heading home—never like saying Goodbye. Still, we’ll head to the airport.
“Love you Dad,” says the father, as I spring from the car. “Wave to your Grandpa,” urges Mom.

I kiss them all, Max maybe twice, and I enter La Guardia…thinking, yes knowing—that my son’s in good hands, that HIS son’s in good hands….and that all of us have won the lottery.

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