Twelve years ago today, in the middle of an Idaho winter, ECJ came into this world. He was wrinkly, red, and screeching like someone had taken away his favorite toy. I knew right then that I'd never have the same life again.
At age 1 he put his tooth through his lower lip while carrying a blanket across the room. My heart thumped and I rushed him to the emergency room. Only to be told to let it heal on it's own. There'd be a small scar if it were left alone and a giant one if they applied stitches. Keep the area clean and watch him in case it splits open wider.
A few years later and you'd swear he was on the war path with anything hard when it came to his head. Stitches from rocks he'd fallen on, butterflies from concrete he'd landed on after falling off a car trailer at the neighbors house, and more stitches than I like to remember the day he slid into the TV stand on his way to show his Dad a picture he'd colored.
A young boy who loved the outdoors and was more accident prone than any other boy I'd ever come across. He made me nervous. He's made me proud. And he's made me spitting mad. Sometimes all in one day. Some days it feels like there's no way on God's green earth that he's already 12 years old. This little boy who used to watch me on the computer as a baby now knows a lot more about computers than most adults.
He's small for his age. But, what he lacks in height he sure makes up for in heart. He shovels snow all up and down the street. Sometimes he gets paid for it and other times he just does it to be nice. He stays up late to read or do schoolwork (sometimes because he spent the day helping me teach his sisters).
Is he annoying? OH, well, sometimes he sure is. Sometimes I look at him and wonder what the heck is going through his head and why in the world he's taking out his frustrations on the whole house. He's at that in between stage that lies between child and teenager. He'd so like to be treated as an adult and also wants the freedom to act like a child when he wants to. This is a natural thing!
My little boy is now twelve and the shock of it still hasn't worn off.
Our morning was spent doing lessons as Noni wasn't showing up until noon. ECJ had even stayed up late the night before working on school work because he wanted to only have computer lessons and music lessons on Thursday and Friday be a goof off day. He did indeed finish all of his lessons for the week, other than computer and music, before Noni showed up. The girls are also pretty well finished for the entire week and should be done tomorrow with the whole week's worth of lessons.
We spent the afternoon with Noni shopping for ECJ's gifts from her. Some new Lego's (one of which is a set from The Hobbit), a new music CD, a crossword puzzle book, and a new Diary of a Wimpy Kid book and he was all set. Noni also bought a few new movies for all of the campers and a small toy for each of the girls. She also stopped at Denny's Restaurant for lunch with the children which was a giant treat.
He received a very special gift from his Dad and I today as well. He received his first cell phone today! It's a prepaid phone and we bought the first time card for it. If he shows responsibility with it we may help purchase future time cards as well. But, he's responsible for keeping time on the phone. That means that if he only has $21 and needs time on his phone but would really rather have a new toy or CD that he needs to buy the time for his phone instead. He's begun earning his own money now and while we'll chip in a bit here and there (so long as he's responsible) we're not going to be putting time on his phone all the time. This was as much a treat for him as it is a safety thing for us. Now, we know that we can get in touch with him no matter what he's doing.
We ended the day with cake and ice cream, of course. His choice this year for cakes was Boston Creme Cake for the second year in a row. I think his tastes are very similar to his Dad's in this type of thing. There was a quick dinner and then much playing with new things and watching new movies. It was very low key as he's at that in between child and teenager stage where parties aren't cool unless it's just you and your friends but your parents don't agree that you're ready for that yet.
So, our little man is now 12 and he had a good day. I look back at him being a cute baby, silly toddler, goofy kid, and weep at the fact that I have one more year of this pre-teen stage and he'll be a teenager. They grow up fast ladies and gentlemen. Take the time to pay attention to each stage because one day they'll be asking to borrow your car (or money for a bill) and you'll want to remember those days when they were little and you hung the moon.
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