My little guy turned 11 today. He’s not so little anymore. It’s hard to know how to feel about this, but I can tell you that the two prevailing emotions are pride and a bittersweet nostalgia.
photo by Ashley Thalman Photography
This son of mine was so hard to come by and is such an impossibly perfect outcome of a terrible medical situation; sometimes the closeness of it all just takes my breath away. During my a nightmare of a pregnancy with him, I was on permanent bed-rest with an I.V. and an in-home nurse and my body shut down one organ at a time. About once a week I was rushed to the hospital for some emergency or another.
And yet, and yet. Here he is.
On August 25th, 2004 I went into labor. I was watching the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, watching some virtually unknown kid named Michael Phelps blow up the pool. I was actually, literally watching Phelps swim while I labored at home, with no earthly idea 11 years later almost to the week, we’d be in Hawaii as a family watching my boy swim at the national championships of swimming.
After laboring at home we went to the hospital for a nightmare of a night and following morning, and on August 26th my not-so-little miracle boy was born. And he was completely perfect.
From the get-go this little boy of mine has been an absolute delight. He was hungry all the time as a baby, (and a toddler, and a little boy, and a bigger boy) and when he wasn’t busy eating, and even when he was, he’d smile at anyone who looked his way. He still does, and I hope he never stops.
On his first birthday I made an entire full-size cake for the party guests. I let my little guy have the first swipe at it, and he ate the. whole. entire. cake. I had to go in the house and make a whole other cake for everyone else to eat. He really hasn’t stopped eating since.
So naturally for his 11th birthday this morning, we made an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, and gave him a table full of presents, all food, except Legos. Because 11-year-old boys can be satisfied with basically two things: food and toys.
The delight this little boy has given me is endless. There aren’t words for the sweetness in his heart, the kindness in his eyes.
He’s funny, and bright, and loving and moves his not-so-little-anymore body 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He runs from room to room, from activity to activity. He starts talking the minute he wakes up and doesn’t stop talking until he falls asleep.
I love the way his little brain works.
Now he’s a boy, headed into near-adolescence. Girls are weird, boys stick together, and everything stinky, gross, loud, and bizarre is absolutely wonderful to him.
He is kindness impersonated. Have I already mentioned that? Because it bears repeating.
He requires a daily minimum of snuggles from me, just to make it through the day. Please bless that never ever changes.
He’s delighted by life, and a delight to mine.
There isn’t a day, not one single day, I don’t thank God and the whole universe for sending this little boy to me.
He is my whole entire mama heart. Happy 11, little man, I’m keeping you forever.