Saturday, December 17, 2011

And then he was nine...

It seems like just a short while ago I sat nursing my new baby in a cold and mostly empty living room lit only by Christmas lights. I remember that newborn smell mingled with the smell of our tree, his snuggled body against mine, and the warm bag of rice grains against my aching back. It was peaceful. Delightful. I was never in a hurry to put him back down and get back to bed; I wanted to savor every moment alone with him. I was in complete wonderment, getting to know this little person that was my son.

Michael was not as I expected him to be. For one, he was a hefty 9 lbs. even though I had struggled to put on weight during my pregnancy. He was fair with blond hair and blue eyes, a stark contrast to Olivia's dark skin and hair at birth. He hardly cried, and when he did I could easily comfort him. I was amazed by my ability and confidence to care for a newborn. It was a completely different experience now that I had already traveled that road once before, and I so enjoyed it.

He was to be my baby, and I his mother. During his first couple years, he had eyes only for me. He preferred me to anyone else, and though this was exhausting at times, I knew it would only be for a relatively short time. There would come a day when he'd be off and independent.

He turned nine last week. He's not so much of a mommy's boy anymore, but he still has a sweetness reserved just for me. He loves to draw for me, and he leaves me little notes all the time. Many of these notes are in the margins of his school books, a fact that I know I'll appreciate more in time!

Michael is a confident and sociable kid. He's not out to impress, which I think is why so many types of people like him. He is amazing with little kids and babies and they gravitate towards him in a way that surprises many onlooking parents. He has a way of catching the eye and quickly making friends.

He is easy-going, straightforward, and unpretentious. I appreciate that about him, but for some reason he is still the hardest one of my kids for me to figure out! Maybe it's because we are similar in some complicated ways, and yet different in ways that complicate my understanding of him. His personhood, I believe, has an unusual depth and breadth. I pray expectantly that the Lord will use him mightily for His glory.

My funny guy in Cape Cod this summer

On his birthday, while he was giving Jacob a piggy-back ride during our hike, I told him that I had recently read a sign that made me think of him. It said: BEING A BIG BROTHER IS BETTER THAN BEING A SUPERHERO. His face just beamed. Yesterday I watched him give his little brothers countless rides outside, never taking a turn to be served. He likes to be in charge, knowing that he's coming up with games and ideas that appeal to everyone. And he just loves his sister! Their relationship is an especially sweet one, and since Michael is actually taller and 10 lbs. heavier than Olivia, that may qualify him to be her big brother, too!

We had plans to get together with some out-of-town friends for Michael's birthday, but an unforeseen obligation forced us to cancel. He was easy about it, and so happy to go mini-golfing instead. We took the next day off school and went for a hike, then he spent the evening playing with friends. He nearly always requests a less usual birthday dessert, and this year he asked for "choux a la creme" (cream puffs). It made me think of my grandmother, Maman Cecile, and how much the two of them would have liked each other.

His enduring loves: Insects and lizards

He likes to get so close to the edge of the cliff... it nearly gives me a heart attack each time!

I came around the bend in the path to discover Michael taking care of Jacob who had hurt himself and was getting tired of walking.

Michael, we love you big like the sky! Happy birthday, sweet boy!



  1. I love your photos! What kind of camera do you have? I want some private lessons :) It looks like your family is doing well. I miss seeing you at Grace, but I'm sure the Lord is using your family in wonderful ways where you're at. Merry Christmas!

  2. Happy Birthday to a very special guy!--Nelly

  3. i second what deidre said...though it would be kind of hard to give me lessons in spain :) how do you get the pics to post on your blog so large?

  4. Deidre and Melissa~ Thank you! Jon bought me an entry level Nikon DSLR a couple years ago and I'm sloooowly learning the science and art of photography. Recently I upgraded to a Nikon D7000, but in some ways I've had to take a few steps backward because it's taking time to learn the new functions.

    Merry Christmas to you both!

  5. Oh, do I remember that sweet boy clinging to his mama! Happy birthday, Michael! K, can you email me your new mailing address? Thank you!


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