Today is my son's 25th birthday.
When I woke up this morning and remembered that, I started to cry. Not because I was sad, but because I was overwhelmed with happiness.
It you'd have asked me as recently as a few years ago, I would've told you that I wasn't sure my son would even make it to 25. Sure, I had hope. But addiction and depression can twist a person's life in ways that are totally unpredictable. I had no idea what loomed on the horizon for my son.
Four years ago today, on my son's 21st birthday, I wrote a blog post called "21 Years Later." In that post, I said:
"When you become a parent, nothing is guaranteed. You hope that your children are healthy and intelligent, and grow up to be fine adults. But if there are a few bumps in the road along the way--like addiction and depression--you have to improvise and ad lib to the best of your ability in order to help everyone--most importantly, your child--get through it. There's no owner's manual. It's like trying to figure out the most complicated computer software known to mankind just by sitting down and playing around with it. Trial and error. Over and over and over again."
Today I am grateful that we--me, my wife, and our beautiful boy--never stopped trying. Even though there were times we probably wanted to, we never gave up.
When our son comes over for dinner after work today, my wife and I will probably tell him (for the umpteenth time) how incredibly cold it was the night he was born. And how beautiful the full moon was that night. But more than that, we will tell him how much we love him. And how incredibly proud we are of him.
Today is my son's 25th birthday and his 893rd consecutive day of sobriety. I think we'll celebrate.
"Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day." --A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh