Today is Jesse's 22nd birthday. I was 23 years-old when I had him. I still feel like I'm that age; how did he catch up to me?
Such a delicate and kind boy. So amazing to watch you bloom. So fascinating to look into such wise eyes before there was a voice.
When we brought you home from the hospital we decided that we wanted to honor you with a big Christmas tree, so your Papi, our dear friend Marco, and your Grampy David went up the mountain behind our cabin and cut down a 20 foot tall tree. They had to drag it down the mountain and somehow through the doors of the house. It stood in our vaulted living room commanding attention, like you.
Here you are celebrating your first birthday with your uncles André and Jonathan. Inside the package you're opening is a furry motorized raccoon toy from Japan. You were so tickled by that toy. It would squeek and wiggle it's tail as it walked toward you, then it would back-up and start over again. I still have it on a shelf in the closet, if you wanna be tickled again sometime! Squeek, squeek.
We went to Mexico to celebrate your second birthday in your Papi's village of Angamacutiro, Michoacan.
On the left, you're sitting in a Cana field eating sugarcane with your cousins. Cana is one of Angamacutiro's major crops. On the right, you're sitting with your great-grandfather. Check out my perm!
Here we're wearing outfits that we got for the celebration of the Dia de Virgin Guadalupe. We traveled all around Michoacan to collect the various pieces...Uruapan, Patzcuaro, Morelia, Janitzio, Paracho...
Mexico is such a magical place to be at holiday time. There were fiestas in every town that we went to.
Below is the photo that I've been telling you about, from when you were in your Robert Smith stage!
You were such a happy boy, always smiling and giggling. But in the photo below your expression contradicts your t-shirt!
In the photo below you are playing football on your 11th birthday with Trevor and Lauren, among others (note: Lauren was recently drafted as a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers). You're playing across the street from our house, at Mission Hill Jr. High.
Below is your graduation day from Mission Hill.
Here you are with "evil" stepdad Richie on Donner Summit. Don't worry, there was no threat of anyone being eaten (reference to the Donner Party)! Note that Richie is wearing garden gloves for the snow :)
Below, holding Marcel in Southwest France, 2003.
Another great one holding Marcel...
And finally...holding me! Happy birthday mon fils!
"Weak as the winter sun, we enter life on earth.
Names and religion come just after date of birth.
Then everybody gets a tongue to speak, and everyone hears an inner voice, a day at the end of the week to wonder and rejoice."
-excerpt from How Can You Live In The Northeast, Paul Simon