Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A quarter of a century old today...

Wolf, my son and best friend in the universe was born on July 24, 1982 at 10:47 am. He arrived several weeks early, weighing nearly 6 pounds. He could hold his head up from the very start and he rarely cried. He was an even tempered, snuggly baby who was nearly always content and happy. He smiled at an early age and was talking in full sentences by the time he was a year old.

He could read long before he went to kindergarten and had (and still has) the best memory of anyone I know.

As a child he was kind to everyone, most especially animals. He saved birds that had fallen from their nests and took in every stray he could find. All of our pets had been rescued in one way or another and we always had a house full of critters. Fish, however, trembled at the sight of him.

He was usually very helpful around the house, although every time I'd ask him to clean his room he'd say "maybe amorrow". As you can see here, he was always a snappy dresser (I am in so much trouble for posting this photo--but it could be worse, Wolf, it could be the bathtub picture).

He volunteered during and after school and on weekends. He spent many an hour at the Beartooth Nature Center in Red Lodge, building and cleaning pens and doting on the animals. In his junior year a fire threatened the compound and he stayed there for several nights, making sure the animals were alright and preparing to transport them if the fire switched directions.

Wolf always loved the great outdoors. We camped and hiked throughout most of his formative years. Those were some of the best times of my life and I'd like to think some of the best of his youth as well. We'd gather up two or three of his friends and head to the mountains or the lake for days on end. No matter what time of year or how lousy the weather, if he wasn't in school and I wasn't at work, we were camping.

Fast forward many years. Wolf's father and I had long since divorced and he had remarried Kristine, a very nice woman who had a son from a previous marriage. Together they had one daughter, Abigail. After several years, Kristine became ill with cancer and after a time, passed on from the disease. Jess, her firstborn, went to live with his biological father in New York City but after a short time, it was obvious that Jess was miserably unhappy.

Wolf (then age 16) decided we should ask him to live with us, which we did. The two boys shared a room until we could find a bigger house to accommodate us. That Wolf would be so kind as to share all he had with someone less fortunate, is so like him.

Wolf's senior prom was a night to remember. His fondest wish was to have his 11 year old half sister there, so we drove to Gillette and picked her up. We bought her a beautiful dress and had her hair done. When Wolf was crowned Prom King, his first dance wasn't with the Queen, it was with his little sister. It was so beautiful that nearly everyone in the room cried. I wish I had that picture, but it's at my dad's house. The photo above is her senior picture.

When Dale was in the hospital, Wolf spent countless hours visiting with him, picking up things that he needed, comforting him when he was nervous and entertaining him when he was bored and frustrated. Despite his intense dislike of hospitals and all things medical, he put someone else's needs ahead of his own. How like him to do that. When Dale needed him most, he was there for him. When Dale passed on it was Wolf that went to the hospital to collect his things so that Cousin Dan didn't have to make arrangements to have them sent home.

I could go on and on and on about what a wonderful person my son is (oh wait, I have), but I don't want to lose my audience (all two of you). Ha! Suffice it to say, my son is a big sweetie and I am very proud of him. He's the best person I know and I'm a better person for knowing him.

I love you son. Happy 25th Birthday!


TigerYogi said...

What a wonderful tribute!

Happy Birthday Wolf!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Very nicely done! I feel like I've just sat down with you and leafed through some old photo albums over tea!

thailandchani said...

He does sound like a wonderful man! He needs to be cloned. :)

(Happy birthday, Wolf :)



Bonita said...

Laurie, that last photo of Wolf is FANTASTIC!! I just love it! I also love his sweet little hairstyle in the photo by the sink. Oh, little boys can be so beautiful. I'm so glad you and Wolf have an endearing, loving relationship - and I hope you can camp together real soon.

Laurie said...

Tiger, thank you! He's a great guy.

Thomas, how sweet of you to say.

Chani, I'd clone him and keep one of them here with me if I could.

Bonita, I've always loved both of those photos. I'm not too sure Wolf will be pleased with their selection, however.

Q said...

Thank you for sharing your incredible son.
Happy Birthday, Wolf.
As thomaslb said I too feel as if I just sat with you and looked through a family photo album.
Very loving tribute to your son.
Congratulations Mom!
You raised a fine man.
Blessings to you both,

Anvilcloud said...

It seems that you have every right to be a proud-as-heck mom.

Laurie said...

Q, thanks so much for commenting. Blessings to you as well.

AC, he's the best person I know and I love him more than life. Thanks!

Rhea said...

Sweet! I hope he sees this.

Gina said...

The world sound like it is a better place with him in it!

Happy Birthday to him!

JustJock said...

I'd say your son is pretty damned lucky, too. An open-minded, loving, and proud mom is something to cherish...and it's obvious he does.

Pat yourself on the back.

Laurie said...

Rhea, he usually reads my blog. I hope he sees it too.

Gina, I truly believe it is. Thanks. {{hugs}}

Jock, you are too sweet.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Excellent! A very happy birthday to Wolf!

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Your buttons must have all popped off your blouse by the end or writing this post. You are a shameless proud parent in deed to a son who has brought you much joy.

I know what it is to raise a son as a single parent. It can be a special relationship. I have done so since he was 2, when his mother decided she wanted something else out of life rather than marrige and motherhood. My son ,too, has done me proud he is a teacher and an excellent parent to three of his own.

Laurie said...

Nick, thanks, I'll pass your birthday wishes on to Wolf.

Tossing, you are so right, there is a very special bond between us. I am so proud of him! It sounds as if you are a proud daddy as well, and rightfully so.

Squirl said...

Happy Birthday, Wolf!

Very nice tribute, Mom. :-)

Within Without said...

Ha! I can barely say things in full sentences NOW and Wolf could do it at age 1 or before!

Happy birthday Wolf.

And congratulations Laurie.


Carol said...

You have yourself one handsome and wonderful son. Part of the reason he is the way he is is because of you!

Happy Birthday, Wolf and congratulations, Laurie.
With love,

Laurie said...

Squirl, thanks, you are very sweet.

WW, I've noticed that about you. Just teasin'! (Runs away)

Carol, thank you so much for saying that. I think my parents and brother had a lot to do with the way he turned out, but it's nice to think I may have had some influence. :-)

NatureWoman said...

Happy 25th Birthday Wolf!!! What a nice tribute Laurie. Hugs to you and Wolf.

MsLittlePea said...

Yay! Happy Birthday Wolf.

What a cutie.

Mary said...

Happy Birthday, Wolf! You make your Mom proud.

Laurie, he was a bette baby than my daughter, who is a month younger than Wolf. She never slept well and was a whiner. LOL!

You should be so proud of him. He's a guy wih a big heart. That last photo is wonderful.

Your love speaks.

KC said...

You did well, Laurie. What a special person he is.

Laurie said...

Naturewoman, hugs back to you.

Mspea, I think he's adorable, so glad you agree.

Mary, he was the best baby...all my friends were so jealous. He never went through a bad phase, I am so lucky!

KC, I totally agree. I love him more than life.

Ur-spo said...

manny happy returns to the fellow!

Wolf said...

Thanks mom, This is the highlight of my birthday. Thank you for the great present and thank you everyone for the happy birthday wishes.


Laurie said...

Ur-spo, thanks!

Wolf, I am so glad you liked the post and your birthday present. I love you so much!

The Lone Beader said...

What a wonderful post:)

Happy Birthday, Wolf:)

threecollie said...

Happy birthday to Wolf...he sounds like a wonderful person and you have every right to be very proud of him!

Laurie said...

Lone Beader, what an amazing avatar you have. I've been to your blog, you are very artistic. Glad you liked the post.

Threecollie, he's a great guy. I talked with him on the phone for a long time last night. I miss him so much, but I'm so glad he's happy.

Dave said...

What a lovely and loving tribute to your son. You are truly blessed to have such an individual in your life.
It is a grand thing when your child becomes your teacher and you learn from him. It is with a sense of love that you share your thoughts with us and in retrun I would like to say "HAPPY BRITHDAY WOLF."

Nicole said...

Like mother like son!!! NM ~.~

Laurie said...

Dave, thanks! You are very kind and you are very right, I'm extremely lucky to have him in my life. :-)

Nicole, awww, shucks. *blush* Next time I see ya, I'm gonna embarrass the heck out of you, just because I can! {{hugs}}

Cathy said...

OH! I missed his birthday! Drats. I'll have to get on over there and give him a belated cyber hug :0) What a great guy. I know how much you love him, Laurie. It's in every tender word you've ever shared with us about your precious son.

Anonymous said...

Happy belated birthday!

Now I have to go figure out how to slow my kids down. They grow way to freakin fast!