Today is my birthday. Hooray, me! In five days, my son is going to turn nine years old. My wife and I have talked about this at length, but we are both on the same page...at some point in the future (we don't know when), we will have another child. At least that's the plan. Whether we have another, or if we adopt one of the countless children in this country who are in need of a loving home, our family will expand by one more - at a minimum.
She just called me from the road, between Michael's and Target. Two of our neighbors have been sidelined with the flu. One of them is confirmed to have the H1N1, and the other, we're not sure. Julia wanted to make them some chicken noodle soup, and couldn't get Paula Dean's recipe for it out of her mind. So she called me. In a matter of moments, I had Googled the recipe, copied/pasted to my Gmail address, and sent it shooting through cyberspace toward her smartphone. Really? Wow. Thirty-seven years ago, if my mother had decided on a whim during a shopping trip that she wanted to make some chicken noodle soup for ailing neighbors, the flight of the bumble bee would have been much different. Of course, she would have been in labor thirty-seven years ago today, so chicken noodle soup might not have been foremost on her brain at the time.
I'm sitting next to my son, who is fully absorbed in something called Fusion Fall. It's an online game he's playing on his mother's laptop. I am working on my blog and checking my email using a laptop of my own. Without causing him too much "soon-to-be nine years old and I don't like attention from my parents" anxiety, I look at him every now and again, and marvel. At breakfast this morning, Julia and I reminisced about how it didn't seem that long ago when he was a baby, and we'd just set his carrier on the restaurant table. Now he's the Right Tackle on his football team, he stands just under five feet tall, he can put down the majority of an IHop Breakfast Sampler, he loves the new math he's learning in his fourth grade class, and he's as smart as a whip.
The plan in my head that needs to come to fruition before the Christmas buying season begins is to have my first novel, "The Brotherhood" published via createspace.com (you'll hear more about that in the near future, of course). It's a print on demand service, meaning your book isn't printed until it's ordered. And all of the technology is digital. It's amazing. I can't wait to share this, and subsequent novels, with the world. If it works the way I hope it will, I might use createspace.com for every title I publish.
I don't know what's going to happen by September 27, 2010. My family might be larger. I might be sending my wife recipes using some undiscovered technology. My child might be even smarter than me than he is already. And I might be well on my way to earning a spot on the New York Bestseller List (which would solidify my next choice of tattoo, by the way).
If there are things you can look forward to achieving or accomplishing in your life; if you can still smile at the memories you've already made; and if you can swallow the bad taste of the times in your life that you screwed up or did something stupid, getting older doesn't have to suck. It can actually be a lot of fun. Today is my birthday.