happy birthday, little man


Nine years ago, at 1:55pm, you stormed your way into my world.

And since then, you’ve turned it upside down. You have a wickedly funny sense of humor. You’re an expert cuddler. The rare nights you crawl into bed with me, you know that the very best way to do so is to be such a stealthy and expert spooner that I won’t notice you’re there. And I don’t. Until I do. And then I savor each moment. I know they are numbered.

Every morning, you hold the screen door open for me, my arms full of bags as I fumble with the keys. (By way of contrast, your brother lets it slam behind him, right onto my shoulder.) I know you want to ride shotgun all the time. But in spite of what you think, while it’s true I worked in the Senate, I don’t make the laws. At least, I didn’t make the laws that dictate what age you have to be to ride in the front seat.

You’re messy. But you’re sweet. Sometimes sticky. Quiet and loud at the same time. (How do you do that?) You have not met a piece of trash you don’t think is beautiful. (Please don’t become a hoarder.) You are the only one in the immediate family who can carry a tune, and for that reason I apologize on my and Jack’s behalf for our bad car singing.

Speaking of, I could live the rest of my life not hearing Eye of the Tiger again and be fine, but it makes you happy. So we listen to it. On repeat.

You are our cat whisperer, the only one who can pick them up and cradle them in one arm without them twisting down and running away. You’re growing up so fast and are almost as tall as your brother. But you still cover your eyes when a kissing scene appears in a movie. I’ve tried to tell you that kissing is fun, but I can’t say I’m looking forward to the day that you decide to take my word for it.

The idea of loving someone so much it hurts was definitely conceived by a mother. There are days I look at you and I never want to let you outside where you will face life’s cruelties. But then I want you to be part of the world’s adventures, so I let you out the door in the morning.

The door you hold open for me. In so many ways.


happy birthday, jack!

Photo taken on Jack’s California adventure.

Are you really 11 years old? I feel like you’ve grown up more in this past year than in all the other years combined.

Each day, you bring more joy into my life. I love everything about you (except maybe your stinky feet). I love that of all the instruments you could choose from, you decided to play the saxophone. I love that when I was flipping out because I thought my car had been stolen from the movie theater parking garage, you remained calm. I love what you can create with a pencil and a piece of paper. I love that you opted for a gingerbread-pineapple upside down cake instead of our usual themed cupcakes (even though I’ve mastered camo frosting). I love how you reason with me when there’s something that you want.

(You say you want to be a genetic engineer so that you can breed a lizard with a bird to make a dragon, but if that profession doesn’t give you fulfillment, I see a career in law for you even though I love you too much for you to become a lawyer.)

You’re learning patience. You’re learning how to be fair to your little brother, although sometimes when your friends are around, you forget. You no longer cover you eyes when there’s a kissing scene in a movie and you even brush your hair now. You love cauliflower, and thanked me for making it for dinner the other night. Last year, your teacher told me that being around kids like you made her wish she had had her own children. (I might have cried a little at that comment.)

You are empathetic, clever, funny.

I’m so happy to be your mommy, or as you have started to refer to me, mom.