Happy Eighteen, Luke.
I am only twenty-five in this picture, holding your two pound self. I was eighteen when I met your dad. That is incredible to me. How can that be?
You have been a bit apprehensive about turning eighteen … worried that perhaps it implies some sort of rule that you are not yet familiar with or ready for. Last night, you and Haley Girl celebrated one of two proms you will attend this season. She made you a candle lit birthday dinner and surprised you with presents. Last week, you worked, obsessively, on editing videos of pinecones turning into ballerinas for hitRECORd and did the most beautiful job. Last month, you played, flawlessly and with so much heart, the lead role of Jimmy in Thoroughly Modern Mille …
All I can tell you for sure is that you are ready. Ready for a life full of love and possibility. You have already created that for yourself. You are, indeed, just a magically happy boy (man, I guess, right?). As I was driving home yesterday I was listening to Phillip Phillips sing Home. If I had a better voice and if it wouldn’t mortify you, I would just stand on the highest platform I could find today and sing those lyrics to you, but for now, just know this:
We don’t know where you’ll land, but you are so ready to leap. Play and work hard. Continue to bring joy to everything that you do. And bottom line, know that you have a home and even when you venture off to create your own, I hope that the kernel of love that we have created here is the seed that is at its pulse.
One of the things I have enjoyed most this past year is being your teacher and staying up with you until the wee hours of the morning, sitting at the dining room table, everyone else asleep, and drawing together in silence, only interrupted by the occasional, “How does this look?” question from one of us. I don’t really understand parents who say that they aren’t there to “be a friend, but to be a parent.” I think they are lying because you are one of my best friends.
I am off to your party now, where thirty or more of us will celebrate this milestone with you, cheering you on, loving you.
Happy, happy birthday (and thanks, Evan, for the prom pics).