ode to boy joy


The Dr. Seuss book sits upon our table with our birthday hat.  The birthday bird seeks my eldest, officially a teen today, and this book was given to him when he turned one.  From that year forward, we have always read this book on each of our sons’ birthdays.

As he came downstairs for breakfast, the younger brothers excitedly sat near the table decorated with: candy, the hat, our birthday pin and books.  He emphatically shook his head, “No.”  He was NOT going to don any of those items on.  I laughed, having no intention of embarrassing him in middle school but as I drove into work I realized that chapter of this son’s life is coming to a close.  The transparency is becoming opaque.


It was arts and crafts day, yesterday, both at work and at home.  The hubs watched me string clothesline from our business front door to one of our bathrooms and over the course of an hour; created this colorful banner of crepe paper.   I shared my idea to him of creating a banner to celebrate our son’s early years.  Last night, after the boys were put to bed and a visit from the tooth fairy, we got to work.

And when it was done our eyes grew glassy.  This is a project we will continue with each of our sons when they become teenagers.

The pictures share the story, from the day of his birth through his twelfth year.  Some years he looks the same, others drastically different.  The words do not come; only the memories associated.  The last picture on the banner has a question mark, purposely blank.  It is the shot we will take today; his thirteenth year.

Nate 0

The day of his birth; jaundiced and yellow.  The blue lights revive him; this baby too mellow.

Nate 1

A week ago, sadly, 9/11 took place.  The cake eating fest was all over his face.

Nate 2

The Sesame Street gang brought in his second year.  He giggled in delight; grinning ear-to-ear.

Nate 3

The hotwheel on the cake brought in year three.  He made roads in the frosting; laughing with glee.

Nate 4

The king is overwhelmed; just wanting to sleep.  It’s Thomas the Train and he just wants to eat.

Nate 5Nate's drawing of himself on birthday

The kindergartner blows as hard as he can.  He draws me a picture; himself as a man.

Nate 6

This year is the first of school being all day.  He hated to read, all he wanted was to play.

Nate 7

Aged seven, to Legoland; right next door.  The legos were strewn all over the living room floor.

Nate 8

Another year down and the third grader waits.  His Dad, deployed again, a twist of the fates.

Nate 9

“I’m nine!” this son shouts at the local county fair.  These prizes were his; unwilling to share.

Nate 10

His decade rolled around; all cardinal and gold.  When asked about his age, he claimed he was old.

Nate 11

These books about history, were probably his faves.  He loved learning civilizations, in class with sixth grade.

Nate 12

Our theme was about music and Minecraft gold shafts.  This year he rebelled against wearing birthday hats.


Today I  now glance at the man-boy; in-between.  Happy birthday, my son.  Welcome 13!


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