Sunday, November 21, 2010

Happy 18th Birthday, David!

Our son, our "S.U.N." (as we call him), is turning 18 today.
Eighteen years old.
An adult, if you will.
Eighteen years ago, at the end of a spectacularly difficult 36 hours of effort, he was born, via emergency caesarian section - one of the most perfectly beautiful babies I've ever seen.
He is still one of the most beautiful people I've ever seen, inside and out.
If you are a mother, you know that your child's birthday is also your "birth" day. If you have been pregnant, or laboured and given birth, you know that experience intimately. There is nothing else like it. So while the focus is on our child, no matter how old he is, we moms are often back in our memory to that first day of our child's life in the outside world. It is a sentimental day, deeply emotional.

I was sorry that David's birthday fell outside of his Thanksgiving break, but since we'll see him soon & planned to celebrate with him next week, I accepted it, and sent his cards and a care package to him at college.
He asked for a ski pass for his birthday, so that he could ski during the winter semester, and we gave it to him. He joined the Gonzaga ski club.
Friday night, Gregg and I were getting ready to go to bed, when the doorbell rang. It was nearly 10 p.m., and people don't normally drop in on us at that hour.
It was David. He surprised us, and drove over the mountains after his last class of the week, to be with us on his birthday.
We were really surprised. It's the best "birth day present" I could receive, other than the original gift of having him for my son.

Yesterday, we took him shopping for a few necessities and the food for his birthday dinner, selected our Christmas tree at the tree farm (to be cut later), went to one of our favorite restaurants for dinner, and saw the new Harry Potter movie. Then we came home, Gregg went to bed, and David and I watched the first episode of "Sherlock" together (he hadn't seen it yet). It was a full, great day.
Happy Birthday, David!
Thanks for the wonderful surprise.
We love you!
May all of your dreams and wishes come true.


Kay said...

Such a sweet surprise. You have a sweet son, ya know? : )

Happy birthday!!! : )

Jabacue said...

You know how fortunate you are. This post is a true tribute to your son and also to you Karen in acknowledging that special day for you both! How nice.

lizziebelle said...

what a great son. happy birthday david!

Maggie May said...

What an awesome son. I hope my children surprise me with their visits!!! Happy Birthday to a sweet hearted, intelligent and much loved newly minted adult- David!

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday David! These photos are great - Karen, you've barely aged a day!

Irene x

Lakeland Jo said...

I can just tell he's a lovely lad. You are clearly so proud of him. Happy Birthday David! Great happy post X

deb said...

Safari quit on my just as I was leaving the comment so don't know if it took.

I wish your David Happy Birthday, he is truly a good man.

and to you , a wonderful loving generous good good mother.

( and are those pants in the first pic from that clothing line that sold at house parties, the name escapes me.. ?)

karen gerstenberger said...

Isn't it funny - I can't recall where those pants came from. I think they were either a gift, or bought at a local craft fair, made by a local artist. They were reversible & so cute.

karen gerstenberger said...

...and, Irene, how kind of you! I don't see myself that way, but love the fact that you do. =)

Anonymous said...

So glad you got to be with him.
Have a good trip to PD...
Lv, Carin

rebecca said...

oh how i love the part where he shows up to surprise you on his birthday.
this is so bursting with love!!!
you have so sweetly shared your gift!

Mary said...

Wow, that made me cry. His surprise visit says so much. I hope we are so lucky one day! Happy Birth Day!

ChiTown Girl said...

Happy birthday, David!!

I don't know what's wrong with me lately, but I just cry at the drop of a hat. When I read it was David at your door, it made me burst into tears. How sweet!!

After I had Stud, it made me look at my own birthday in a whole new light. Now I celebrate it as if it's my mom's day, because really, it is! On my 30th birthday (a million years ago!!) I sent my mom the biggest flower arrangement I could afford at the time.

My mom, naturally, was in the delivery room when Stud was (FINALLY!!) born. I don't remember this, but she said that after he was born, I turned to her and, through tears, said, "Mom, I've always loved you, but now I REALLY love you!"

Finally, shame on you for not aging one bit since David was born!!

shauna said...

wow. 18. Happy Birthday David!

Busy Bee Suz said...

He is the cutest surprise present EVER.
Happy 18th to David. Happy 18th to you and Gregg.

Karla said...

Happy birthday David!!! Congratulations Karen and Gregg for raising such a wonderful young man.

Mary Anne said...


Happy,Happy Birthday...that was the best gift you could give and "receive" by simply dropping in on mom and dad. You kids are and always will be our heartbeat.

much love from Denver,

Mary Anne - Dublin :)

thewindowwasher said...

Karen, that was me who smiled at you as you were putting your coat on and leaving S. City last night. You were beaming as I realized it was you and that David and Gregg had just passed ahead of you. What a fun surprise for his birthday - celebrating with his parents! Glad you had such a fun weekend with him. :-)

Cathy Coleman

Elizabeth said...

Happy birthday to your beautiful son. His surprise gift to you is stupendous -- I haven't used that word in ages and ages and think it's perfectly appropriate!

Daisy said...

Happy birthday to David! What a special guy driving all that way!

Yes, birthdays do look different from this side of the birthing room. Definitely.

Glad you guys had a wonderful time.


Mary Potts said...

You're right, there's nothing like giving birth. It certainly is YOUR day too, and what a wonderful gift at the end of all your hard work - a beautiful and thoughtful son, born to wonderful parents. The gift that keeps on giving, for sure! He sure loves you guys. Not all kids would come home like that! It sounds like you had a fabulous weekend. Did you like HP?

karen gerstenberger said...

We did enjoy HP. It was really fun to watch it with David, as he and Katie LOVED the movies, and David reads the books every year. I think the movie was more meaningful for those who've read the books (I haven't), but it was still good.

AnnDeO said...

That is amazing! Those children of yours touch my heart.

Truth Ferret said...

Having a child come home is the most wonderful gift a mom could ever receive, isn't it?

Happy birthday, David.

The last eighteen years have passed in a blink of an eye and the years only go by faster.

karen gerstenberger said...

Cathy, I left a reply for you on your blog. =)
Truth, yes, it is the best gift: presence.
ChiTown, you are too kind. The gray and wrinkles are part of the deal, but I don't mind too much. =)

Tracey Axnick said...

Happy (belated) bday to your sweet baby boy! I know it feels like 18 MINUTES, rather than 18 years... my baby boy is 14 and sometimes I just catch myself staring at him like "who IS this young MAN in my house?"

You have a very special son (and you are beautiful and so photogenic too by the way....)

Anonymous said...

This made me so happy to read! A very happy birthday to David and thanks for sharing these pics! I love hearing about the Gerstenberger family!!
xoxo, Jiffy

AutumnJoy said...

Just catching up on FB, blogs emails etc. and none were more poignantly beautiful than the sharing of your son's birthday surprise - his gift to you personifies his becoming an adult. No greater gift than that of love; one more reason to celebrate your "sonshine". Thanks for sharing, Karen.