Thursday, January 24, 2008
My Birthday Boy
With each passing year I realize more and more just how quickly these kids grow up. My oldest, J1, turned 11 years old this week. It sure seems like just a couple of months ago that he was born in the middle of a raging Minnesota snowstorm. Now he is teetering on the bring of becoming a full-fledged "young man."
I see so many different stages of childhood - newborn (first 6-8 weeks), baby(until they walk), toddler(walking to about age 3), young child(3-6), boy/girl(6-11/12?), young man/woman (12-16/17?), man/woman (17+?). Obviously I'm not so certain on when the older stages begin and end, given my oldest just turned 11! But, I'm sure that you all know what I mean - sometimes you just look at your child and sense - "wow, he's not so much a baby anymore," or "wow, he's almost a real boy now!" Does anyone else do that? My youngest, who is 5, he's getting on towards just being a boy, rather than a young boy. My J1 - he is definitely growing from a boy into a young man. It is truly awesome to see. And bittersweet, like so many things in parenthood. The years we have left to have him in our proverbial little nest don't seem so very many right now! And the milestones loom - in 2 years he'll be a "teenager"! In 5 years he could be driving! In 7 years - 7 years! - he can vote and move out if he chooses to do so! He's only 10 years - 10 years! - younger than I was when I got married! The mind just boggles...
And I am just so proud of him. He is just such a good kid. I felt so bad for him on his birthday day. We were all sick, which I knew was going to happen (thankfully he felt a little better, though), and we planned to have a "light" birthday, with a second day for cake and activities when everyone felt better. But, on his "real" birthday, he opened one present in the morning, and then he waited patiently all day for dad to be done with work so we could have cupcakes and he could open the rest of his presents. Finally, it was time. I drove him nuts, snapping a few pictures.
Well, about 3 seconds after I snapped this picture, both N4 and A2 started throwing up! S3 ran and hid from the sights and sounds of it all - we couldn't even find him for 10 minutes! Dh and I were frantically trying to clean everyone and everything up, and J1 just sat patiently at the table, a bemused smile on his face, laughing with us at the absurdity of it all. He could have easily freaked out about it, threw a fit, cried and been disappointed (I sorta wanted to, myself, lol!) - but he didn't, not in the slightest. He was worried about his brother A2, who got the most sick and felt really REALLY bad about the timing of it all, and was desperately afraid he would miss the unwrapping. I was just so very proud of J1 for handling it all with such aplomb.
And that is really just indicative of him and how he is. He has his moments, don't get me wrong, we all do! He whines a bit still sometimes, he is prone to becoming very stressed out (I blame myself for that one!). But he helps me so much, mostly without complaint. He is kind to his brothers, and respectful of his parents. He loves the Lord and his faith astonishes me at times. He truly enjoys life, and he seems to get along with just about everyone he meets. He is smart, and funny, and we all just love him so much!
Happy Birthday, J1. I know that your 11th will be one you won't ever forget!