Jake turned thirty yesterday, and (par for the course) I found myself more affected by it than he was.
I met Jake when he was 20. A whole decade ago. Back then, he wore bandannas and cut off dress shirts; I wore Crocs and ate vanilla pudding like it was a major food group.
This is the first picture we ever took together, and for the sake of authentic writing, you should know that it took me over an hour to track it down tonight. Presently there is no direction to my thoughts, but because of the sheer effort I've already put into this post, it'll end up finished somewhere.
That picture is just shy of a decade old. Since it was captured, I've celebrated 8 birthdays with Jake.
I don't really remember any of them, though, which suddenly spins my thoughts into a totally different direction. Let the stream of consciousness ensue.
(another early picture)
Jake is always saying that birthdays are just another day; he's never too hung up on the sentimentality of them or the need to make everything perfect for those 24 hours. He just goes about the day per usual (although this year he did complain about some added soreness and loss of vision).
I know that I've worked hard to make each of Jake's birthdays something memorable, so the fact that I can't really remember any of them makes me laugh.
I guess for me, birthdays are starting to become more about the passing of time. I find myself drawn to the thought that I've now known Jake for one third of his life. In another decade, I'll have known him for one half of his life. Then, from there, the time I've been with Jake will start to dwarf the time I ever lived without him, and those are the birthdays I think I'll really get on board with.
Each passing year means one more that we get to spend together. It's not about the specific day in time, I suppose, but rather about the fact that we're in that chapter, that moment, that season together. That even though change is the constant that moves with us throughout each passing year, Jake is a constant, too.
As is the white bandanna on top of his dresser and the two snack packs of vanilla pudding currently in the fridge.
Old habits die hard, you know?
30-years-old. Here's to more birthdays and gaining on those years before you gave that little homebody from Iowa a second glance. It's going to be a good year, Dr. Flinkman.