This is my favorite son, Bradley.
Never mind the fact that he is my only son.
Today is his twenty-second birthday. And, coincidentally, his first day of classes for his senior year of college. I haven't been able to get a hold of him, today. I received a quick email saying "I'm busier than any person should be, I will talk to you, later."
When I was pregnant with him, a friend and I were shopping and we saw a photo of a baby with his hair cut in a mohawk riding on a motorcycle. I said "this is probably the son I'm carrying.
Bradley was the orneriest little boy. With an impish smile, one could only imagine what sort of shenanigans were dancing around in his mind. He had so much energy that I used to take him to the park (nearly every evening) to "run him." If I didn't do that, he would be jumping from sofa to chair and racing around the house like a puppy on the loose. It was also a nice wind-down, end-of-the-day family time. I would take a lawn chair, the mail, a book, a magazine and Bradley and his sister would play on the playground equipment. We had Bradley's high school open house at the same park. One of Bradley and his sister's favorite things to do was to jump up and down together on a wooden bridge. On the day of the open house, the two of them went down to the playground equipment and hopped onto the wooden bridge for one final bounce. A photo of the two of them on that day, bouncing, sits on his sister's desk in her D.C. law office.
When Bradley's sister would come home for visits from school, the three of us of us would go out to eat together. I would sit on one side of the booth and the two of them would excitedly catch up on one another's lives.
As an adult man, he is patient and kind with his old Mama. Yes, he informs me that I drive like a Grandma, that he could get somewhere faster by walking than by riding with me. He has always been my favorite man, a good man who grew up with two women always directing him. It may have been a frustrating situation for him, but for the most part, he handled it well. He always seemed to learn a lot by observing. Five years older, his sister was his other mother. We love you so very much, Bradley! Happy Birthday!