11.4.2003 Happy Birthday to Me
Yep. Today was my birthday and instead of being the self-loathing boy I usually am (hehe), I decided to write about it *after* living the day first, I guess. I usually use birthdays as sort of checkpoints for myself, and its reminiscent to reflect back, and also interesting to reread in a few years.
Gosh, can't believe I'm thirty-seven. Yeah, I'm thirty-freakin-seven. But, I really don't feel like it and I guess that's what counts. (Not like I know what thirty-seven feels like, but I guess it wasn't what I predicted it to be).
Well, today was a good day overall, busier than usual however, but manageable nonetheless. The day started well and routine with the alarm clock blaring off at 7:20AM. And, once again, I or Elizabeth hit the snooze button twenty times like always. But knowing it was my birthday made it all justifiably better.
Work was hectic as hell however, but nothing that I haven't seen before. Nonetheless, hectic. At one of the client sites, I help maintain a few production systems while developing some new ones. Well, one of the main servers today decided to go south and we had to shift our collocated backup systems into high gear. This just wasn't so bad, but Murphy's Law had to interfere, and sometimes, what can go wrong, just does. Oh, so high tech. Oh, so aggravating. It went alright -- aggravating, but alright. Yada yada yada.
But this entry and website isn't about work, it's about me. And there were a few other *me* things going on today.
Like my parents leaving for China.
My parents haven't visited China in a couple of years. And nowadays, since retirement, they've made it a point to visit there more often -- and for months at a time. Something about retirement has enabled them to live life more adventurously. They have worked long and hard for many years, and it is quite deserving.
I know that they have a good time there in China. And they have a lot of friends there as well. And I also know they really enjoy life there and just seem truly happy. It's all good. But in all honesty, I really miss them when they are there. I know that it's somewhat selfish of me and I feel some sort of odd guilt, but I like it when they are here, with me. Also, in my paranoid pessimistic head, I'm totally fearful that something bad may happen to them while they are there. To top things off, the last time they were there, I didn't hear from them for like three months. I was totally in the dark, letting my worst fears get the best of me.
But I guess this is all part of being a good offspring.
Tonight, we had a family dinner and then, I gave them a ride to the airport. Their flight was scheduled to depart at 10:50 PM. We arrived there a couple of hours early. It was nice. There were no crowds. My mom gave me the pro-quo be-a-good-father, be-a-good-husband speech. She sensed that I was going to miss them and gave me a hug. My father also hugged me and from the look in his eyes, I know that he was so proud of me -- of how far I've come in just the past few years. I just smiled inside.
I helped carry their one carry-on and walked them to the gate entrance. We hugged again, smiled, and silently separated.
They got smaller and smaller as they walked further away. I could still make out their facial expressions. They approached the last bend, turned around once more, raised their arms, and gave me the biggest waves they could. Something inside of me warmed to see how happy they were.
They just seemed so truly happy.