Party Time!

This is a special week in our family! It is the ninth anniversary of when we became parents! My son will tell you it’s his birthday, but isn’t it really about the fact that we have parented somewhat successfully for nearly a decade? High five to us! Ok, ok I’m kidding… for the most part. This week marks nine years of having this sweet boy in our charge, and I’m pretty excited to celebrate him.
First photo with Daddy

When I was a humongous pregnant lady, I remember telling the doctor that I was afraid he was going to be ten pounds. He ended up coming via c section due to complications, and I was so darn tired I had to fight to stay awake to hear him cry and see his tiny face. When they wheeled me out of the operating room I remember staring up at the ceiling lights and wondering if I was dreaming. They stopped me just outside the room where he was being weighed, and I could hear my mom laughing. She came out to tell me, “Well sweetie, you said he was going to be ten pounds and you were close! 9lbs 10oz! The nurse said she almost dropped him when they handed him off, she hadn’t been expecting him to be so big!” He has been bigger than average ever since. We fondly refer to him as our Gentle Giant. The other day he was standing next to me and I realized he was up to my ear! He thinks it’s the coolest thing ever to almost be as tall as I am, and I think it’s adorable that he thinks I’m tall.

From the beginning he was a pretty easy baby, although we were too naïve as first time parents to truly appreciate how awesome that was. Three more kids later, we have fully grasped it, trust me. He rarely fussed, was always smiley, and aside from a propensity to projectile vomit after eating, he was pretty low maintenance. He has stayed pretty true to that ever since, although he has now begun the eye rolling phase, and let me just say, it’s a real treat. I accept it as a natural developmental milestone even as he gets in trouble for sassing his mama.

For him, family has always been everything. He has always taken his duty of big brother seriously, and has loved on and helped me with all three of his siblings. His current way of showing love for his brothers is by bossing—I mean, structuring them and making them—forgive me, I mean helpingthem, play the “right” way. They don’t appreciate it as much as he thinks they should though. Ahem. When it comes to his baby sister, he absolutely loves to make her laugh, and likes to say “she’s just too cute to resist!”
Meeting his brothers
Meeting his baby sister

Awhile back, swayed by one of the best ads I have ever seen, I signed up for a subscription to Chatbooks. Without any extra effort on my part, we get a photo book shipped to us once a month, and the boys are always excited to get them and see the different pictures of the family. The other day when I picked Steven up, I noticed he had brought the newest one with him to school. When I asked him why, he said he just wanted to be able to look at all of us while he was at school so he didn’t miss us as much. He then proceeded to tell me that he wished he could go back in time and hold his sister one more time as a little baby because he just thought she was so beautiful and sweet. Be still my heart! Sheesh kid, way to make your mama cry.

As a mom, you always wonder if you are doing it all wrong, wondering if you have now officially screwed up this human you have been entrusted with, and hoping that they’ll still be alright later in life after a whole lot of therapy. Sometimes though, you get a glimpse of what you are actually accomplishing, and it blows your mind. I had a conference with his teacher the other day, and listening to her go over his progress, tell me how proud she is of how far he has come, and express how much she enjoys having him in class and how he is a good friend to others, it was all I could not to hug her and cry. School has been a struggle for him, so to hear her say such wonderful things was extremely comforting for his anxious mama.

For some time now, I have thought that he has the gift of grace. He gives grace freely and without seeming to have to try. (Unless you are one of his brothers and you have touched his Halo Megabloks, in which case he seems to believe that there is an evil plot to destroy him and everything he holds dear, and he responds accordingly. I.e.: loudly and with great dramatic effect. I don’t know where he gets that from. Sigh.) When he was around 4 or 5, he gave me a reasoned argument as to why Darth Vader could be considered a good guy, because in the end he did the right thing, even though he “made some bad choices” along the way. To this day he, and now his brothers, refers to the villain exclusively as Anakin, the person he was before he joined the dark side. He has an innate ability to assume the best, and forgive the worst, as he has proven time and time again with my mistakes in parenting. Many times he has unconsciously humbled me with his softened view of a situation that my jaded eyes just couldn’t see.

I don’t always know what to do with this man child who asks hard questions that I don’t have the answers to. Who still says he wants to be a fighter pilot or NASCAR driver, and who now wears deodorant, yet still plays make believe with his brothers. At times it is daunting to realize that in another 9 years, he will be considered an adult, and I feel like I’m still floundering around trying to figure out how to be his mom. Everything changes so quickly, just about the time you figure one stage out, the next one starts! But as we set out into this next stage of parenting, the one where preteen adolescence is going to set in, and girls will be far more interesting than one thought possible, I’m still excited to be his mama, and be here in the front row to watch him become who he was created to be. He’s been pretty awesome so far in my humble opinion, and I kinda can’t wait to see where he goes from here.

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