My Baby is 27


My younger son (MYS-27) turned 27 today. We had a family party. I made delicious beef stew and lemon cake (his fave). Everyone had a good time.

MYS-27, the guest of honor, and his lovely fiancée were here. MOS-32 and dear DIL were here also, along with MGS-3/4, who fell asleep in my arms: HEAVEN ON EARTH! Everyone enjoyed playing with the baby. MSS-19 and The Husband completed our little family gathering. The Husband has a new job and we are all very happy about that, especially him!


MYS-27 has been a Batman fanatic since he was a wee boy. I gave him a lot of Batman gifts (beer glass, plastic cup, ice cube tray and magic washcloth), plus a little Luigi doll in recognition of the phenomenon that all younger brothers are forced to be Luigi when they play Mario Brothers with their older brothers, who always insist on being Mario. My kids are so old that they played plain old Mario Brothers, before Super Mario Brothers came into being!


I also bought him a T-shirt that said “Reverse Engineer” backwards. He is a very enthusiastic manufacturing engineer who loves his work and he thought that the T-shirt was great. His favorite gift was a MegaMan car air freshener! Let that be a lesson to all of us: the gift that cost $3 was the best gift of all.

reverse-engineer-gt1468    megaman

MYS-27 is growing a “yeard.” That is a beard that is a year in the making. He’s been working on it for 6 months and it is seriously huge. His fiancée tried to make a ponytail out of it and that was really funny. MYS-27 used to be very sensitive and got upset whenever anyone laughed at his expense or teased him good-naturedly. He has mellowed tremendously in the past few years. I think it’s a combination of getting older, being part of the working world, the influence of a wonderful girlfriend (now fiancée) and a good therapist. I am really happy about this, because a) he and I used to fight a lot and now we don’t; b) I worried about him and his temper/sensitivity. Now I see that time takes care of these things. He had to be ready to get to a more peaceful place, and now he has done it.

I reminded him that I used to call him “Smally Fellow” when he was a baby. and “Smally” for short. He did not remember this. I reminded him of the time he fought with me about getting gauges in his pierced ears (gauges make those horrible giant holes in the earlobes of young men of a certain persona). He told me he would not get gauges with a number smaller than 16 (the smaller the number, the bigger the hole it leaves). I discovered his falsehood, as I always did, and found out that he had secretly purchased #12 gauges. That was not a pleasant encounter back then, but we can laugh at it now. He still has pierced ears, but wears discreet small silver earrings which look fine, except I do know there would be a hole of some size there if he took them out. But not a #12 hole.

MYS-27 is a very funny fellow. He has a ton of personality. He’s friendly and outgoing. Wherever we traveled in the world, he always ran into someone he knew. When he was a lad, I would take him to social gatherings as my designated extrovert — I planted him in front of me and never had to worry about making conversation. He took care of that for me!

One of the funniest observations he ever made was when he, his brother and I went to Barbados in 2006 for our last vacation as a little family of three. We were lounging at the pool, and I observed my sons watching, with great interest, every woman who walked by in a bathing suit. “Sons,” I said, “I really want to know what is soooo endlessly interesting about looking at scantily clad women. There is just not that much difference between one set of breasts and another. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. Help me understand the fascination.”

bathing suit       shoes

At last I understand!

MYS-27 took my hand and said, “Mom. You know how you feel when you walk into a shoe store? Have you seen shoes before? Of course you have. But are you excited and interested and longing to explore each pair anyway?” I had to admit he was right about my lust for shoes, and I really understood, for the first time, how men feel!

Happy, happy birthday to a fine young man who will always be my baby, no matter how old he gets. He has enriched my life in so many ways and I love him with all my heart.



8 comments on “My Baby is 27”

    1. I always enjoy your perspective, Elise — it’s guaranteed to be enlightening for me. As I said to Vivian (above), I am a student of differences in people and what makes them happen, and how those differences color their view of the world & responses to various stimuli. Thanks for helping.

      Example: last night, when the baby cried, DIL leapt up and ran to him in the play yard. As she whizzed by, I asked her why MOS-32 wasn’t doing it, and she said, “He never does.” I turned to MOS-32 and asked him (he hadn’t heard me ask DIL), and he said, “She’s too fast — I don’t get a chance.” Somewhere in there is the truth! But one of the differences between men and women is that many dads’ parenting engines idle more slowly than many moms’ engines. He WOULD have gone to the baby, at his own pace, but DIL can’t wait because it hurts to hear the baby cry. I remember that SO well. I had to learn to reset my internal clock to allow the other parent to have an active role, on HIS timetable. It was hard to do!

      Is it a man/woman thing? I don’t know. What happens in same sex couples?

  1. Your sons are awesome. I love the comment about the shoes – never thought of it that way, but I guess it’s SO TRUE! Haha.

    The comment about Luigi made me laugh. Heck, even younger sisters (ME!) were forced to be Luigi!

    Happy birthday to Smally!

    1. Thank you, VIvian! The shoe comment was life-changing for me about a lot of things that men and women see differently. I don’t like to be a slave to gender differences, but as a mother of sons I feel like an anthropologist, uncovering the origins of these differences. Some of it is generational and cultural influences — for example, I grew up with the image of June Cleaver vacuuming in pearls, I wear pearls (as part of my attorney costume when I go to court) but I don’t vacuum! However, June lurks in the background, making me feel guilty about that. YOU are in an interesting position to be an anthropologist, with boy & girl twins! Will they both make car noises and motor noises, seemingly spontaneously? Will they both like dolls and stuffed animals? Please let us know!

      I think there needs to be a Luigis Anonymous support group. How many younger sibs are walking around, secretly psychically wounded by never getting a chance to be Mario?

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