Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Yesterday, The Zenmaster was 32.

Never fails to surprise me when he shows up, and he has hair on his face.... he's tall and has a deep voice... never fails to surprise me when he gets out of a car that he's driving. Somewhere in my head, he remains the 6 year old boy I met long ago, when I first started dating his dad. The dark brown hair is the same, as are the blue eyes that never lost that deep twinkle.... his smile still spreads over his face, his laugh is still goofy, his hands are as big, he retains an 'aw, shucks' kind of a manner... he has, however, learned, finally, to dress better.

The days of bright green shorts and an orange teeshirt are over.

This is the man that holds his siblings together.... he is the center of the universe they've built as a unit. He is the eldest of five.... two mothers, one father... none of them seeing that DNA split. He provides advice, money, laughter, scoldings, love, hugs, kisses....he set up a fund for his niece so she'll have something there for college. He buys a house so his sister and said niece will not have to worry about landlords and rent issues. He is our rock.

He came to my home, put it in shape to be sold, he and his lovely lady... dashed in, dashed out... always giving me advice on how to handle the whole thing. He lets me rant when I'm upset, his calm voice, -Now, Mom, he says.

Mom. The best gift he ever gave me. He was 12, and suddenly started calling me Mom. He doesn't know I went in the bathroom after that conversation, when he just started using the name, asking me a question, then going outside... and I cried. One thing to have his sister start when she was 2 and a younger sibling saying it... and another to have him make a conscious choice to give me that gift.

He was heard one day by a neighbor, out in our back yard...swinging his baby sister, HRH, and singing to her... he was 13 or so... she came inside, and called me. He made up the song, he didn't see Eileen out there... and he was telling HRH in his very off key voice how much she meant to all of us, how much he loved her, how he'd always protect her, and care for her.... and he has.

Oh, he's not perfect by any means. I dumped a cup o'noodles on his head in the car in pure anger once. Don't worry, they were warm by then. He pretty much destroyed the car we gave him. He almost flunked out of his University the second semester. He didn't always make good choices.

I remember dropping him off at the Jesuit High School, his pants so far down on his ass, I think I drove home through traffic and had coffee made before he slouched his way up to the front door.

He also worked at a Hospice, and came to lie down by me the first time someone died while he was at work.

He pulled up those University grades, and worked jobs to help pay his tuition. He has had his best friend since they were around 8, I think. He is an amazing role model to his siblings, although he did try to kill one of them once. He made clever movies with GI Joe, he babysat, he survived a step-father from hell who did the wonderful thing of dying on Zenmaster's birthday a few years ago. He works hard, he is my little geek with his own LAN system in his house, who takes his cats with him when he comes to visit.

He is handsome, witty, loving, kind, odd, intense, loyal, has a temper at times, will do anything for his family, has a black belt in some throw you around thing, he thinks about presents he gives you.... He is my ZenMaster. I am blessed to have him in my life, we all are.

Happy Birthday, Son of my heart.


Solomon said...

Is he single?

(Can this comment if you want!)

Quin Browne said...

lol, yes, he is.

Kelli Wedemeyer said...

See, you didn't quit.
I tell people I special ordered my stepdaughter. She is the perfect child for me. Your a lucky woman. Happy Birthday to your Zenmaster.

Peter Varvel said...

Wonderful and touching, this post.
Happy Birthday to a terrific guy - and a lucky one, too, with a Mom like you.

Oh. And Saints Preserve Me if I ever piss you off within throwing distance of food, exotic or otherwise . . .

austere said...

Many happy returns, Mister Zenmaster.

Lovely post, Quin.

I had a step mom too- my angel mom. And a terific sister, my princess. Once upon a time.

You changed his life.
Mine did, too.

Noodles. Oh. Better keep those curries away, then. :)

lisa nance said...

Ads, I love these tributes you write about your children.
I like your friend's comment about hand-picking her stepchild. That's what the husband tells Anna, he picked her special.
You remind us all that we need to value children more.
Thanks. xx

Quin Browne said...

kelli~i guess not..ha!

peter~i have to EAT them, not throw them around you

a~nice to hear the other side of stepping..and he and his sister changed mine.

lisa~you and anna went though a lot...the husband you got? well, you both hit the jackpot, in my eyes.

Therapeutic Ramblings said...

Greatpost QB.

"a black belt in some throw you around thing"....that had me chuckling.

Cormac Brown said...

Happiest of Birthdays, Zen!

TheInvestment said...

He isn't single, liar!

the Constantly Dramatic One said...

He isn't?


the Constantly Dramatic One said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quin Browne said...

there are no rings, he's single... he dates an amazing woman, but, no rings...

go stand in a corner, son.