Compressed into a single day, we celebrate President’s day, as the national day of observing the birthdays of our founding and sentinel presidents. Tuesday is Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, the day of feasting and gluttony before the Lenten season of sacrifice and discernment. Monday, February 20th is also the birthday of my oldest child, my Sweet Potato child, my ginger son with his red hair and green brown eyes, sharp wit and stellar mind. While some may not consider a red haired man the norm of handsome, to me it is the mark or uniqueness and originality. We all agree to the fair beauty of the red haired maid, but there is something stalwart, strong and undefinable in the red haired man. He will be tall and lean, like his cousins and my father’s people.
February 20th is also the day I became a mother. While I celebrate his birth and his name and the blessing of his soul to my stewardship, I also give gracious thanks for the faith and trust with his life. And if we, as parents do our jobs well, our children grow strong and healthy and venture forth into the world. They are inquisitive and critical, curious and tenacious. They carry a healthy portion of caution without being restrained by fear or doubt. And most of all, they learn to trust and to love. If we are true, we teach them to love and love blindly. First by loving God and then by our example of loving them. For is it a shame for a child to doubt if they are loved, for a child to be uncertain of their worth, the value in life and the absoluteness of divine love for them and the unconditional love from their parents. Happy birthday Sweet Potato.