Happy Birthday Poems...When did it start?

I don't remember how old my children were when I wrote the first ''birthday poem''. I do remember that they were young enough that they danced excitedly around me as a birthday approached and asked, ''Mommy, are you going to write the birthday letter?''

The "letter" was the birthday poem that I wrote, sometimes as a weary, blurry-eyed mom at about midnight, using every last second to compose a poem recalling the birthday child''s year, and hang it from dangling ribbon fastened to the ceiling above the birthday child''s bed.

Just this morning, my oldest son, Ryan, asked me to find and email to him a photo of him and his brother, Ben, whose birthday is today.

So I ventured up to the attic and pulled out Ben's blue accordian file folder and began the melancholy path down the proverbial memory lane. I say that because now that my children are in college (and one a graduate), I''m still getting used to my empty house.

BenMothersDayPoem325-copy-761x1024I found a couple of photos for Ryan -- and I found a couple of ''gifts'' as well.

It seems our stories and actions do get noticed and heard by young eyes and ears.

I found the poem Ben wrote to me Mother's Day 2005.

And, tearily, I found the essay he wrote the same year about my deceased brother Paul, entitled "My Hero".

Both of these, penned by Ben nine years ago, I share here, as well as his newest poem/collage (the collage first) -- which had to be emailed to my study-abroad-son in Vietnam.

Happy 21st Birthday, Ben! You make my heart smile.

You’re like a like a lion and like a lamb

My son my child you have become a man 

Heart of passion, heart of gold

Playful spirit, strong and bold 

Adventures call and you respond --

Pack your bag and take challenges on 

Saigon streets I walked with you

Your confident spirit shining through 

We look with awe at what you’ve done --

Another man, another student would turn and run! 

You’ve made us so proud and continue each day

So grateful we feel and for your safety we pray 

On this your birthday -- twenty-one!

Be joyful, be proud -- you are one of ONE! 

We love you so much our hearts do swell

With so much pride I think you can tell!

My Ben, be safe in all that you do

Know that God is always watching over you

I count the days til December twenty

--On that day celebration will be plenty!

When you, our second son returns to us

--Our Christmas gift -- we’ll be so joyous! 

So spread your wings, this adventure devour--

Enjoy each second, each minute, each hour!