Eight years ago today I was hugely pregnant. I had spent a summer floating in the pool at our Y as often as possible. I had commiserated with a very large sow named Barb (I can’t make this sh!t up) who had just given birth at the State Fair. I was packing my bag because in just two days I was heading for the hospital to give birth to my baby boy.
He would roll his eyes and throw his hands up while walking away if I called him my baby boy right now. But I’m happy to say he starts nearly every morning by climbing into my lap for a long, quiet hug. I don’t know how much longer we’ll have those moments at the start of our day so I try to savor each and every one. He’s all arms and legs and I can’t wait to see how much he’s grown in the past year. I’m guessing a lot.
He continues to amaze me with his boundless energy and appetite. Whatever sports season we’re in is his favorite. Though when asked to name his favorite sports to play he is consistently answering, “wrestling or baseball – it’s too hard to choose.” He ran a 4.5 mile race with me last Thanksgiving and a 5K with his father this spring. He tried skim boarding at the beach – and learned that his hands need to be a little bigger to hold on to the board. He jumped countless waves in the Atlantic Ocean and nearby Lake Michigan.
His dad coached a 12yo baseball team and J was the bat boy. He was on cloud nine each and every game. The players would sometimes rub his head for luck. He’d fist bump them when they came in the dugout. They made sure he got a trophy when they won tournaments. And when we were out at the store and he’d see one of those boys, he’d run up to talk to him like they were best friends. He’s already too cool for me.
He hiked in the Badlands. Exclaimed at buffalo in Yellowstone. Climbed mountains in Glacier National Park. Yet one of his favorite parts of that amazing trip was seeing Mount Rushmore because his favorite President is George Washington. I’m not sure many 7yo boys have a favorite President, but mine does.
He is excellent at pushing his sisters’ buttons and seeing just how high we’ll let him toss the ball in the house before yelling at him. He still cries at the sad parts of movies and (even though he doesn’t always admit it) he appreciates a good love story. He helped his oldest sister pick out a dress by finding one that was her “favorite color and had pockets” (even though no one told him how cool it is to have pockets in a dress). He will make an excellent husband some day.
He has a goofy grin and big laugh that I hope I always remember. He’s full of bravado and I have absolutely no concerns about his ego. He plays football every day at recess and usually comes running up the sidewalk, bursting through the front door to tell me about his day. He likes to read to me at bedtime or ask for his own quiet reading time but he still lets me read to him every morning while he eats his breakfast.
And these are a few of his favorite things:
color: black and neon
food: that buffalo taco we had in South Dakota and BACON!
vegetable: Can it be a fruit too? My favorite fruit is raspberries. And my favorite vegetable is edamame.
dessert: cake batter ice cream or blue moon ice cream
part of school: science, because I like to learn about life cycles and weather
sport: wrestling because I like how you get to get points and try to get people down
thing to do: watch TV (he says with a sheepish look at his mother)
tv show: Stars Earn Stripes
song: I don’t have one… maybe that one by Eminem that you let me listen to
book: There’s No Figure Eights in Hockey… oh and I like A Running Back Can’t Always Rush
restaurant: BWs for bone-in wings! I really hope I get some Asian Zing sauce for my birthday.
holiday: Christmas because everyone is happy and you get to open presents and it’s Jesus’ birthday.
animal: Trying to decide between two: Buffalo and Cheetah. I like cheetahs because they are dangerous and fast. I like Buffalos because they are so furry and can run fast and they can go anywhere they want to go.
What did you request for your birthday dinner?
Ribs! I haven’t thought of my dessert yet but maybe chocolate cake or chocolate chip cookies.
What is something that can always make you smile?
When you say it’s time to start wrestling – I really like wrestling.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
This one is a hard one. Ummmm… a professional hockey player… no, a UFC fighter. And maybe a soldier in the Army.
If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?
Brazil because I like how hot it is there and you can do exotic stuff. And also, Hawaii because it’s so far away and there are lots of beaches and it seems really fun.
What do you love about each person in our family?
Who do I start with? Well… I like E because she is fun to play with all the time. I think K is pretty funny and she would always climb rocks with me when we were hiking and she went on all the crazy rides with me at the fair. And there’s so much stuff about you and Dad. I like playing catch with Dad. I like it when you read books with me.
What were some of your best memories from this past year?
– Playing baseball and being bat boy for the All Stars.
– Wrestling for the first time.
– Our trip to Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, Glacier National Park and all of that cool stuff.
What are some of your wishes for this year?
– I hope to get better at baseball and wrestling.
– I want to learn lots more math like multiplication and division
Each year I interview my children on their birthdays and write a post about their year. My hope is that someday these musings will spark special memories. Search for ‘birthday interview’ over there on the right to read previous posts.