Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

For whatever reason, teh Family Port-Swiller is heavily front-loaded in terms of birthdays, with four out of five of us having ours in the first quarter of the year and three out of those four having theirs in January.  So here we go.

Pray, charge your glasses and drink a toast to teh Middle Gel, who turns fourteen years old today.  (I should say “turned”, really.  She was born at about 2 ack emma and was such a whiz-bang surprise that Mrs. R nearly delivered her in the car on the way to the hospital.  Yes, I ran red lights.)

Ol’ Robbo frankly finds himself a bit flabbergasted at the rate in which tempus appears to be so rapidly fugiting.   It’s one thing when teh eldest hits her various waypoints.  In those instances, one is so taken up with the Undiscovered Country that one has little time to dwell on anything else.  But when the trailing edge comes along – and I may mention that teh youngest turns twelve on Tuesday – well, somehow it suddenly gets much easier to memento mori.

Eh, what are you going to do?

Speaking of such things, regular friends of the decanter may have noticed that over the years there has been a steady decrease in what one might call Robbo’s gratuitous offspring posting.  This is a conscious, deliberate thing: When they were infants and babies, toddlers and small children, they seemed more or less appendages of my own life.  As they get older, however, their own selfhood manifests itself more and more clearly.  They aren’t just part of me and my experience, but have their own lives, too.  Concurrently, their own zones of privacy and autonomousity (if that’s a word) grow ever stronger and wider.   Back in the day, I could relate anecdotes about bathtime follies and diaper fiascos pretty much care-free.  Now, however, as they enter into the transition to their own adulthood?  Eh, more and more of what I see becomes nobody else’s biznay.

For all that, I will say on her 14th that I think teh Middle Gel has turned out to be a splendid and special young lady, and I am immensely proud of her.  (And I don’t say that because she’s a regular here.)  Bumpers all ’round, ladies and gentlemen, and no heel taps!

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