One More Birthday Boy
I don't know how Eric could be old enough to drive cars and have a girlfriend and play hoops and score touchdowns, not to mention sing in his high school choir.
It seems like just the other day he was playing "western town" with the Fisher-Price guys.
Wasn't it last week we were reading alternate chapters of Seaman: the Dog Who Went With Lewis and Clark?
And it couldn't have been more than last summer that he was taking our dear dogs Jake and Cookie on walks.
How could he have three younger brothers -- one of them 11 and two of them 5?
It couldn't have been ten years ago that he and The Prof and I and Gunnar drove to Montana -- with Eric navigating. That boy could read maps before he could talk.
It was a memorable trip. He got to throw buffalo cake to the buffalo on our friends' ranch. He got to climb up to the falls near Bozeman and throw rocks over the edge. He got to learn about dinosaur digs at the Museum of the Rockies. And every day he wrote about it in a journal so his mom and dad would have a record of what he did (and because one of his grandmas is a writer and the other is a librarian and we both believed that he should write something, too).
He and I made it into a book, complete with pictures, when we got home. Just the other day I found our copy of his book, Eric's Excellent Adventure when I was cleaning out the back bedroom -- the bedroom which has been through lots of kids, including his own father, but which as often as not is called Eric's room.
Because he was the first -- and for 5 years an only -- we did a lot of stuff together. He was my right-hand man when we went down to Kansas to help his aunt and uncle get ready to move to Texas.
He was the only one, at times, who could get his two year old cousin to be reasonable. He has that ability -- to be cool and calm and sensible when everyone else is not.
His mom says he's a lot like his grandma. She means his other grandma -- trust me.
She's right, too. His other grandma is a terrific person. So is he.
Last year we got to watch him play baseball on the same team with his dad one night. This year we got to watch him play football on national TV. This season, for the first time, he and I get to cheer for the same pro football team -- his team, the Vikings -- because my quarterback is his quarterback now.
It's fun. He's fun. It's true what they say: grandchildren are great.
Especially this one.
He has brought tremendous joy into our lives. And he set the bar very high for all the subsequent grandchildren. They have a lot to live up to after Eric.
Happy birthday, E!