Monday, September 29, 2014

Nine







My happy, sweet boy turned nine last week. We celebrated numerous times - once with his grandparents, once as a foursome and again this weekend with his friends. He enjoyed himself thoroughly, as the man of the hour (or week). His party was a blast (thank you for the birthday and good-party wishes!). I was on food and hospitality duty; Daddy was in charge of scientific fun, just like last year. This year's experiments included creating hydrogen in a wine bottle with Drano crystals, aluminum foil and water (and exploding a balloon filled with said hydrogen, using a sparkler on the end of a long pole), drinking punch made super-creepy with the addition of dry ice, pouring a glass of water from several feet away (through the miracle of surface tension), and hitting targets with a laser and mirrors (a repeat from last year's party, since it was a rousing success).

The LB and his friends had a really good time, I think. We kept the party small and I tried to make things a little easier on myself by letting the boys make their own pizzas (we rolled out the dough and sauced it, they put on toppings of their choice). I don't know that it saved time, necessarily, but they enjoyed themselves and it wasn't difficult to prepare or clean up. Instead of cake, we had ice cream sundaes (I'd sent Rice Krispie Treats to school during the week). I didn't have the chance to take many pictures during the party; there was too much going on. I know he had a good time. He got some amazing gifts from his friends, including a carnivorous plant! We have to feed it dead bugs. Yikes. We gave him the kinds of things he loves - mostly things that plug in, flash or beep. He loves his new LED reading lamp and circuit components. But he had also asked for more books from the Boxcar Children series and has already devoured them all. I'll be happy to buy the next set for Christmas.

I have a nine-year-old. How weird and wonderful. A friend pointed out to me this week that he's halfway to eighteen now. After I suppressed the urge first to kick her in the shin, then to burst into tears, I started thinking about how far we've come in nine years, and how far we still have to go, and how quickly it's all going to pass if these first nine are any indication. He's my first child, the one I learned on, the normal stuff made more difficult by the fact that I was seriously ill after he was born. I couldn't hold him until he was seven hours old and couldn't be alone with him; I was very sick and on heavy anti-seizure medication. He was four days old the first time I changed his diaper. I was on bedrest until he was six weeks old. He had health problems too, congenital ones as well as some caused by my difficult pregnancy and his early birth. I just couldn't seem to get better. His first months were a blur of doctor's appointments and tests - mine as well as his.

What a time we had. I lay on the couch with him all day. I wished we could be normal, that I could take him for a walk in the new stroller then collecting dust in the basement. But it was a precious time too. I had all the time in the world to get to know him, to master that very tricky breastfeeding thing, to watch him grow and get fat (motivating me to keep breastfeeding). I read to him, sang to him and told him stories. We watched the big maple tree change outside the window, green to flaming orange to bare and black. We lived in a cold, snowy place then; there was snow on the ground by the time I had a clean bill of health in November. I couldn't take him for a walk outdoors, so I took him to the mall. In my inexperience, I started toward an escalator with that big stroller, a security guard shouting behind me that it was dangerous and therefore not allowed. I listened, of course, but I couldn't stop laughing. I laughed until my stomach hurt. The security guard was probably ready to call for backup. But with everything we'd been through, the idea that an escalator might be our undoing was really kind of hilarious.

This boy is so good. I mean that. He was the calmest, most docile baby I'd ever seen, which did make it easier to parent for the first time under adverse circumstances. He rarely cried. He never had a tantrum as a toddler - not one. He was a late talker, quiet and calm even when he could have been frustrated. Today, he's a peacemaker among his friends and with his sister. He is scary smart, probably a lot smarter than I am, but he's humble. He accepts his health issues with courage and equanimity. He's funny! Just like his father, he makes me laugh all day long. He is a joy. I'm so deeply, wholly glad he's here.

43 comments:

  1. Sounds like you have a lot to be proud of enjoy every second of it. Amazing party.

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  2. Oh Jennifer, what a lovely post! :)
    You got every reason to be happy and proud of your lovely family! :)
    Have a nice week!
    Ingrid xx
    http://myfunkycrochet.blogspot.be

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  3. Happy belated birthday to your son. The party sounds great fun. A lovely post, the love for your family shines through.

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  4. A belated birthday from me too, the science party sounds just perfect; for boys of any age! He sounds like a wonderful boy, and 9 is a long way from 18 don't worry!

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  5. It's a good feeling being a proud mum, isn't it, and it sounds perfectly justified. x

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  6. Happy birthday LB. What a lovely homage to him too. No tantrums? Always good? He's definitely a keeper, Jennifer! The party sounds brilliant. Marc did something similar for a birthday of Sam's. It was the talk of the school for month's, and Sam dined out on his scientist Dad!
    Leanne xx

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  7. This is a lovely post... Make sure you have a way of making a backup of this post (on paper or on hd, never trust on only the internet... ), so he can read the lovely words you've written about him when he's older....

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  8. *H*A*P*P*Y* * *B*I*R*T*H*D*A*Y*!*!*!* to your wonderful son. What a joy he must be! You gave him a memorable party - you both are fantastic parents! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  9. I'm so glad the birthday parties were successful for your son. Your description sounded very much like one of my son, but without the health issues. These "under the teen" years are scary, sad & wondrous all at the same time. You still see the little boy quite often, which I think we cling to as moms. We also see some pushing away and more independence, which makes us sad. We also see all of the outside influences that could take hold, and we just pray that we have given our children the sturdy foundation to avoid or at least withstand them. Once you get them through all of life's obstacles (or as best you can), if you are lucky, you get to see a truly awesome young man emerge who excels at his chosen profession and is a truly wonderful father. I do think your son will be all those things and more, because he has pretty awesome parents guiding him along! So, Happy Birthday to the LB, and congratulations to his parents!

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  10. My goodness Jennifer, you did go through the mill. But look at him now, so happy and confident. He's a great son, and you're a great mother.

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  11. You both had such a hard time. Congratulations to your birthday boy! The scientific fun sounds as good as last year. Sarah x

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  12. Loved every bit if this post... Man you hit so many points I don't know where to start! Kicking someone in the shin... You had me there! But seriously how beautiful to have come this far with such a hard beginning! A job well done to you both!! And your experiments at the party sounded just fantastic !!! A happy 9th birthday to your son!!! Nicole xo

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  13. It sounds like a wonderful party and as though LB is growing up to be a lovely boy and future young man! xx

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  14. You are so blessed with a wonderful son - and he is blessed to be in your family. I'm so glad he had such a nice celebration.
    Happy Birthday LB!

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  15. A beautiful post for a very special boy. :o)

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  16. Happy Birthday LB, so glad he had such a lovely time. You totally rock birthday parties. Nine does seem like quite a big number doesn't it. My middle boy will be nine in February. The oldest will be eleven next week. Gulp. CJ xx

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  17. I enjoyed this post, very word of it. It shows the absolute Mama Bear love that you have for him. He sounds like a wonderful boy and I'm sure much of that is due to your raising of him. Our kids all loved the Boxcar Children too and now our Grandkids are reading them. Timeless.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  18. Such a lovely post, truly from the heart. Happy birthday to your LB. He sounds like such a lovely boy, I would like to know him. I'm glad he had such a special, fun birthday. xx

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    www.sophias-fashion.blogspot.com

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  20. I'm glad your son had a great birthday, it sounds like so much fun. I'm sorry you had such a difficult time at his birth Jennifer he sounds like a very special little boy. :) xx

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  21. Lovely, lovely post, you write so beautifully. Happy birthday to your son x

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  22. What a lovely tribute to LB. it sounds like he had a great birthday and that party sounds awesome.

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  23. Oh how lovely Jennifer and such a wonderful read on the early days/weeks with your boy ♥
    My youngest is about to turn 30!!! and that would have been such a great birthday party for all ☺

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  24. Happy Birthday to your little man. He sounds like the most wonderful boy a mum could have. Well done to you for coping with all those adversities when he was first born. That must have been a really tough time for you all.
    Anne xx

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  25. happy birthday, little young boy!

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  26. Happy birthday to the nine year old. He sounds like a great boy to have. Time flies in - my oldest is now 28 and I just can't believe it.

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  27. What a beautiful tribute to your special young man, Jennifer. Happy Birthday to him and congratulations to you, his lovely Mum, for raising him and for giving such an excellent party! Last birthday in single digits: next year, double figures!

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  28. Sounds like you have every right to be very, very proud of your son. He sounds like such a lovely character. You've scared me though thinking that 9 is halfway to 18. Eeek. Best not to think of the years like that hey :)

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  29. Lovely post Jennifer! Happy birthday to you little boy!!! :)))

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  30. Happy birthday to your lovely boy. Glad he had such a nice day...he sounds like a very special and loved boy indeed.
    Marianne x

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  31. Happy birthday to your birthday boy. He sounds like a lovely young man. So nice that you had several celebrations in honour of his day. x

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  32. Wow. The way you capture your child's personality with your writing is amazing. And he sounds like such a wonderful little boy. Blessings to you all.

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  33. Oh that was such a beautiful touching post, so, so sweet. I have tears in my eyes & there are not many people who can do that to me. Good on you for being such a good mother & he sounds like a super little chap & you have all those new memories to come as he & your others get older. 1st of October today here & my youngest turns 13 on the 25th, I will be clinging on to each of those days until he actually turns 13, time passes so, so quickly & when you are having fun you don't realise quite how fast.

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  34. This is a lovely post, full of love and joy. Belated happy birthday to your lovely boy. I'm glad to hear he had a super fun birthday week.x

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  35. So lovely to read a bio on your LB, Jennifer, written by his mommy! A very Happy Birthday to him!

    Poppy

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  36. Your lovely boy is also blessed with wonderful parents. Happy Birthday to the young man. x

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  37. Happy belated birthday to your LB, looks like he had a fab time :) What a wonderful post on your not so little boy, brought a tear to my eye and put a smile on my face x Elle

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  38. What an amazing story about both of you. In those tough first few months you were protective and attentive, and learned to trust and love each other. Happy Birthday to your darling 9 year old, yes you are half way to 18, but in Florida you can get your driving permit at 15, now that is scary!
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  39. Wow, such a beautiful story. I know how hard it is not to be able to be "normal" mama and baby. My oldest was very sick as a baby. I was consumed with doctor visits for a whole year. It was a blur for me as well. He is a true blessing. Happy Bday to your beautiful boy. Also, I never thought about 9 being halfway to 18. Argh....my oldest turns 13 in a few months. 5 years to go now. ;)

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  40. Happy, happy birthday to him (rather belatedly)

    One of mine is nine ... and twenty! I did start my family when I was in my second year of university, but to think that soon one of my kids will have a 30th birthday ... eek!

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  41. Happy belated birthday to your lovely little boy! He sounds wonderful! My eldest will be nine next birthday too. These years keep flying by. How can we slow them a bit? Bee xx

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  42. Such a loving and touching post. Belated birthday greetings to a very special boy with a very special mother.

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