35 Years Ago…

I’m writing this a day late. Yesterday I wanted to pay homage to a very important day in my life: AUGUST 30. This is the day my first-born, Arturo, saw the light of this world for the first time 35 years ago. He came into being after much speculation, because we had a very important tradition to live up to: he HAD to be a boy, since every first-born of each generation for five generations past had been a boy, each one named ARTURO.

In those days we didn’t have a way to find out the gender of a baby in-utero, so as the time approached, my stress level increased (even though I knew I could not be “blamed” for the sex of the baby, as it’s a well known fact that gender is determined by the father). Nevertheless, the pressure was still on. I’ll never forget the relief I felt when the doctor said, “it’s a boy!”

He was a wonderful baby, didn’t fuss, except when he caught cold or became colicky, both things caused by my ineptitude as a new parent. But we got over the bumps soon enough. Now I have all these beautiful memories to look back on; his first tooth–oh how he suffered! His first steps–taken after much cajoling and prompting. The “tatambo,” baby swing that would keep him entertained in the living-room for hours. His first Christmas. His Baptism and first birthday all-in-one celebration–running a high fever! Falling out of the crib and into the playpen below (yikes!). Sitting out in the sun watching the birds and the flying bugs in La Quebrada for hours! Learning the numbers on Sesame Street. Climbing into the grocery bags with groceries still in them! Playing with his Matchbox cars and running atop his favorite Tonka truck all over the house. The shock of realizing he had taught himself to read before even starting Kindergarten. His first day of school. His protectiveness of his little sister, who came along when he was two. His first cello lesson. His first recital. On and on… so many beautiful memories.

It’s been a wonderful ride. I love the man he has become, but I miss the little boy too. Mostly, I miss the feel of his little hand in mine when we used to walk together.

Oh… and, Arturo: if you’re reading this, the pressure is on you now to produce the next first-born Arturo of generation #6! 😉

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