Of course, it's bound to happen unless someone has a summer birthday -- school and jobs will interfere with traveling across the country to visit on birthdays.
This year, Spencer headed off to college in Florida, leaving me here in cold Ohio. I haven't seen him since we dropped him off on August 10. But Earl drove down to Florida to help my parents with a move and he scooped up Spencer for the weekend. Earl sent me a picture of Spencer sitting in a recliner, watching footall and eating nachos. He seems to be doing okay.
But this birthday away from home made me remember that night, 19 years ago, when I gave birth to Spencer in Michigan. I don't let Earl forget that he talked football with one of the many medical interns crowded into the room while I labored.
After Spencer was born, I called my family and friends. My brother Kevin answered the phone and I told him Spencer arrived at 9:20 p.m. on this Thursday night.
"So you missed Seinfeld then?" he asked.
And that's how I'll always remember what day Spencer was born. The early 90s were prime Seinfeld years, and Spencer later came to love the series as well.
Spencer was born curious and caring, and he still is.
He used to run to our bed every morning, his thick feet pounding across the wooden floor before he dived between us.
Once in our bed, one of his favorite games to play was pressing Earl's nose. Earl would honk or beep.
One morning, Earl was too tired to respond. Spencer gave Earl's nose a few more pushes without any results. He puzzled over it for a minute.
"Huh, must need new batteries," he said before sliding off the bed and onto his next adventure.
I miss my little guy, and my big guy.