There once was a boy who lived in a village that time forgot. It was a fabulous place to live, a place filled with happiness, laughter and love. Where the other villagers took care of one another. They were considerate and kind. And this boy stole the hearts of all the other villagers. Some visitors of the land would carry tales of his kindness or his humour or even his handsomeness but they all couldn’t stop telling the story of how he was loved by all the other villagers. He might have been the most loved person in the village.
The mayor of the village was especially fond of him, and even had a special name for the boy. He called him Dude. Because why not? When a person gets a nickname made of love, then one doesn’t consider the amount of time that was spent scanning through countless books of baby names, just to try and find that perfect balance of manliness, meaning and pronouncability. Not to mention the ease of spelling the damn thing.
The tragedy of the village was that time moved a lot faster than in the normal world. What feels like a brief moment turns out to be months or even years in real time. Moments that fly by at the speed of light, moments that turn into memories faster than life itself. And then one random day in a year, the villagers wake up and realise that their short stint in time turned out to be a whopping 18 years of real time!! And that my friends, is fucking ridiculous. (Sorry readers but it is what it is.)
The problem with reaching 18 years of real time is that the boy is no longer a boy. When a citizen of the village turns 18, it implies that he will be leaving the village shortly. In a few months from now he will have to say goodbye to the other villagers and then he will only be able to visit them every now and again. (And let me tell you dear boy, it better be more now than then!) But there’s nothing anyone can do about it. The mayor have tried to stop time or even slow it down but there’s no stopping the inevitable. Time is a heartless bastard. The man-boy will have to leave the village and face the real world which is a horrible place filled with things like responsibilities. A place where he will have to stand up and face all the consequences of the many decisions he has yet to make.
The good thing is that Dude is well prepared for life in the real world. He has grown into the most amazing man in all the land. He is kind, and generous, and wise, and disciplined, and courteous, and funny, and responsible and dare I say, ladies, dashing as hell. And even though he might leave our little village, he knows that he’ll always have a place to call home. A warm place where the other villagers will support him and encourage him and love him until death and beyond. And they will wish him well on his journey and on this landmark birthday, a soon as they finished sobbing and are able to speak. Once they have dried their tears of joy and pride.
Because starting tomorrow, we will call him Mister Dude.
And with that, I wish you the greatest, happiest and best 18th birthday. May your future be as bright as your own being. May your day be filled with a thousand chuckles and a million laughs.
We love you in a way you may never fully comprehend.
Mom, Princess and I (aka the Mayor.)