Happy 13th Birthday, Bird!

by Ilinap on August 29, 2016

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I was a rotten teenager. I believe in karma. That means that beginning today, my life is about to become infinitely more challenging.

Today Bird has entered the kingdom of teens. Today, Bird is 13.

He was a lad of four when I started chronicling our lives and opining on this blog. So much has changed. That goes without saying, right? A glimpse back gives me perspective on what’s ahead. I saw character traits in the early years that have developed into what I imagine will define Bird’s lifelong constitution. Someone told me when my boys were little that the character they show at age is three is revived at age 16. Let’s just say that I’m in for one hell of a ride.

Bird has always been a child who does not sway towards peer pressure. He’s a likely instigator but he’s no lemming. He has a strong will, for better or for worse. I pray this trait sticks with him through college. I applaud his will when he espouses his convictions. I curse his will when said convictions are contrary to mine. He can argue anything and have you believing the sky isn’t blue on a clear summer day. Mac Daddy says he gets this from me.

Yet, we are more alike than different. Sometimes we share a brain. We disagree plenty. We bicker. Each of us thinks we are always right, and sometimes we fight so hard to keep our stand that we forget what we are standing up for. We share the same fabric that weaves together our heart and brain that, together, pulse with impassioned spirit. An unfortunate issue of timing means we also share a hormonal nor’easter as he enters puberty while I enter perimenopause. The hormonal angst is palpable in this house. Send Mac Daddy your prayers.

Bird is incredibly bright, not in a Rain Man or math-camp-perfect-score-on-the-SAT sort of way. He’s smart in an intuitive way. Bird has an uncanny ability to read people. He is the kid who excels with little effort, and this maddens me. He’s like my older brother in this way. Even “good enough” work passes as pretty damn good. I grew up with a brother like this and now parent a child with the same knack for school. I pray he uses that brain for good.

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The teen years are rough. Boy, that’s the hyperbole of the century! We will take this leap together. We trust each other. We get each other. We love each other. I am immeasurably proud of this kid. Every day I look at him with a hefty dose of awe and wonder how he’s mine. This little Bird is sprouting wings, and I know he’s ready to fly.

Happy 13th birthday to my Baby Bird. You’ll always be my first baby, even though you’re taller than I am.

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Today is National Women’s Equality Day. Never mind that we share it with National Dog Day. There’s an unsavory bitch joke somewhere there. Frankly, I’m surprised I haven’t heard one yet. Look, I love my rescue dog, but we really can’t get any respect, can we?

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There’s one simple thing that all of us can do to demonstrate respect to women all year long. It’s not even very hard, so pay attention.

I was in a meeting recently. There was an age 50-ish gentleman talking about working with a team of college students in a training program. He was animatedly describing how confident and eager the students are. His face was aglow as he regaled us with anecdotes about the four men and one girl in the program (his words, not mine). Four men. One girl. Did you catch that? The students are peers in this program, yet he spoke of the males as men and the sole female as a “girl.” If you don’t see how that’s utterly disrespectful and demeaning, you are contributing to the problem.

I’m asking you to not only steer away from this sexist language that diminishes women, but speak out when your colleagues say such things. Call them out. While it seems trite, it’s not. The language we choose and use speaks volumes. Words matter.

So today, on National Women’s Equality Day, I raise a glass to the women who boost my community, challenge me to be better, and light up the world with their smarts and sass. I share this easy-peasy cocktail recipe to celebrate those who lift your spirits.

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Pimm’s Cup

Add Pimm’s to a tall glass of ice. Top with Q Cumber soda. Squeeze in lime and add mint. Give it a stir. This drink promises to be refreshing.

A nod of respect to all that women have accomplished would be even more refreshing.

 

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