In a couple weeks it will be my son Billy's 33rd birthday -- you know, the one that, if you get past it without being crucified by the Roman Army, will demonstrate pretty conclusively that you're not the Savior of the World.
Billy (William James Bly IV) lives at The Center for Discovery in Harris, NY, just past Monticello on the Quickway, US 17, the future I-86, that runs across New York roughly parallel to I-90, the NYS Thruway. He's severely disabled from a birth injury -- a long story that will eventually appear elsewhere. Suffice it to say that he can't do very much for himself, but in a way this just frees him up to do amazing things for others, mostly by way of sharing an overwhelmingly enthusiastic attitude toward life. His joy is utterly infectious, and, though he has his darker moments and a fairly robust temper, the main thing he communicates to anyone willing to get up close and engage with him person-to-person is that 1) the main purpose of life is to provide an occasion for fun, and 2) is it time for fun now? How about now?
Over the years, we've developed numerous routines, many of them involving music (about which more in a later post) -- but my favorite (and one of his as well, I believe) is crushing my head. If I get close enough, he'll sneak his arm around my neck and, with amazing strength for a young man so small, crush my head against his chest. You can see how much he enjoys this routine in this photo, taken last April by my wife Deb:
I have to confess, I derive certain benefits from the exercise, beyond the always necessary deflation in self-importance that accompanies a good head-crushing.
Try it sometime with someone you love: hurts real good.