Preface: I dislike big parties, even more so when the host
and guest of honor are the only people I know. I was doing my
motherly duty to drive seventy-five miles to make an appearance at
my only son’s 60th birthday party. Instead I had the surprise of my
life.

When I came in through the doorway Steve was playing his sax. Non-demonstrative Steve immediately set his horn aside, cried “Mom”and rushed over to give me the hugest most wonderful hug Steve has ever given me. I huggged him back and we just stood there, holding each other for quite a while. Steve was beaming. I don’t know that I’ve ever before seen him look as exquisitely happy as he looked that night.

There was music. unending, ongoing, music- varied and wonderful music. Rotating friends, musicians all, in and out with their instruments. Jazz, Salsa, Big Band – a bit of everything. I was sitting inside the music, rather than being on the outside listening. Quite an experience. Steve played his flute – on occasion switching to the sax. There was an older man on sax which made for great duets. I met one of the women with whom he plays a flute quartet … heard the two of them duet. I watched a series of different double bass players: a thin young woman half the size of the instrument; three different men of all sizes and ages, slapping that bass.

This all took place, at his girl friends’ home: a natural hostess. She did everything with ease and grace – and she, too, was beaming. This was her party for Steve and she gloried in it. For me, it was also a birthday. I connected with a small handful of people I knew: Johnny T, Steve’s mentor, Susan and Roberto who remembered me from twenty years. I gloried in shaking hands with anyone and everyone, “I’m Steve’s Mom”, I said, beaming. Beaming. I was so proud to be Steve’s mom.