Z-boy, let me tell you what you’ve put me through so far…

Dear Z-boy,

Today you turned 9. Let me tell you what you’ve put me through so far. (This may be a bit rushed since your sister is sitting next me, randomly whining, “Mommy!” Then staring zombie-like at Curious George while kicking the laptop.)

9 years ago–no no! Don’t you “too long, didn’t read” me and skip to the bottom! I promise, I’ll make the ride fun! Read on!

9 years ago, I was giggling like a tween girl at a Bieber concert as we signed the papers for our first house. Your dad, me, and our 1-year-old¬†baby boy were moving from our tiny trailer to our first house (which honestly wasn’t much bigger than the trailer, but it certainly looked a lot better and stayed cooler than 90 degrees in the summer).

The move was well-timed because just a few months later, YOU were born!

*cue applause and cheers*

You were so cute! What happened?!

Just kidding! ūüėõ I couldn’t resist!

But seriously, you changed my life. Really, because first, you scared the crap out of me. No, I’m not talking about the time when TheWiseOne sat on you (you were fine, btw).

I’m talking about when you were 2-weeks-old and kept throwing up. Like, a lot. All the time. To the point where I was wondering if you were getting any nutrition at all.

Turns out you weren’t. You had pyloric stenosis, a condition where the muscle at the base of the stomach narrows or closes.

So, Grandma T and I stayed up all night with you in the hospital, letting you suckle sugar water from your pacifier since you couldn’t have any¬†milk¬†until after the surgery the next day. Try telling¬†that to a 2 week old. That was a rough night. Glad you don’t remember it.

But you survived. That’s why you have that cool scar. Seriously, we need to make up a cool story for that scar so you can impress the ladies in college. *wiggles eyebrows in an embarrassing parental manner* ūüėČ

You’re also the reason I’m a nurse. Yep, you can own that, bud. It was all you. Sitting in the hospital with you and watching those nurses and their compassion… Well, you get it. Now¬†I’m¬†the pediatric nurse. Thanks for that, buddy. ‚̧

So, this is getting lengthy. Let’s speed this along. You were a great baby… until you turned 4 months. I’m still wondering if you were switched with a fae changeling because suddenly my sweet, angelic baby became¬†with a teenage toddler. Can I copyright Teenage Toddler? ūüėõ

You were big.

You were moody.

No acne though. Thank goodness.

You were my true christening into parenthood.

TheWiseOne was pretty even keel, but not you. It was as if fate had looked upon me and said, “Oh, so you think raising kids is easy? Challenge accepted.”

Now, I’m not saying you’re a bad kid! I’m just saying that you blazed the trail, buddy. Nothing your siblings throw at me now can faze me. I have been knighted.

Call me Sir Drinksalot. Of the land of Coffee.

You got diagnosed with ADHD, and we learned about managing it. Actually, we’re still learning how to manage it. In fact,¬†you’re learning how to manage it, too. You work so hard at this, and I’m so proud of you.

Despite all the craziness we went through, one thing was always evident. One thing about you is so unique and uniquely yours: your heart.

You have so much compassion! You sacrifice for your siblings. You cry with them when they’re sad. You defend them when they’re in trouble. You’ve actually yelled at me before on their behalf. I wouldn’t recommend doing that anymore. Thanks.

But, dude, you’re a better person than me. I learn from you.

So, Happy Birthday! We’ll probably argue over something tomorrow, and the day after that, and probably a¬†lot more when you’re a teenager.¬†*shudder*¬†I’m sure I’ll lose my temper and raise my voice. You and your dad are especially good at eliciting this kind of response from me. I’m sure you’ll lose your temper, too. There will probably be tears.

But I know there will be laughter.

And there will be you. And I will always love you.

<3<3<3

Love,

Mom

 

Let’s Bury This Conversation

“Mom, when I turn 34-years-old, I’m going to be a potion tester,” says TheLittlePrince. “How old will you be when I’m 34?”

I’d just picked up TheLittlePrince from preschool. Should I reply that it’s too early to math today? “60,” I reply.

“Wow, you’re gonna be a little old. You’ll probably get married,” he laments.

I raise an eyebrow, “I’m already married! To your dad!”

“Then why do you have brown hair?!” he cries in protest.

Cue double raised eyebrow. We have gone from a strange conversation to a downright nonsensical. “TheLittlePrince, my hair is¬†blond!

I can practically see his shocked expression as he wails, “But I have blond hair! Am I gonna get married?!”

Then it hits me. “TheLittlePrince, are you saying¬†buried?

“What’s buried?”

Now I’ve opened a can of worms. Should’ve stayed with¬†married.

“It what we do with people after they’ve died. We put them in the ground,” I explain for lack of a better answer. I haven’t even drank my full cup of coffee yet. It’s too early for life and death questions.

“Why?”

No, we are not going into a conversation regarding corpse decay. I’m beginning to feel like I just picked up Tim Burton from preschool instead of my own kid. “It’s just what we do.¬†Remember when Papaw S died?” I ask, thinking of my grandfather who passed away last year.

“He died?!” cries TheLittlePrince incredulously.

I should probably feel ashamed that I’ve apparently just broken the tragic news of his great-grandfather’s death to my 5-year-old, but all I can think to do is chuckle¬†awkwardly¬†and say, “Where did you think he’s been all this time?” (I know, this makes me a bad parent. I’m gonna own that.)

TheLittlePrince hesitates briefly then says, “Maybe at the doctor’s office?”

That’s a long doctor’s visit. I don’t reply hoping he’ll let it go at that, but¬†just when I think I’m going to get off the hook with this conversation…

“Do you stay dead?” he wonders.

“Yes,” I say promptly, “once you’re dead, you’re dead forever.” Unless you’re a zombie.¬†Shudder.¬†Not going into¬†that one!

TheLittlePrince thinks for a moment, “Will I be dead forever?”

I really hate where this conversation is going, and I sure wish it would die!¬†“Yes,” I feel like I can’t lie, but then I do, “But you have to be really old to die. You have to be 100.” And I’m thinking,¬†Please don’t ask me how old Papaw S was when he died.

“100?! What about when I’m 200?!”

“Well,” I pause, “Then you’ll be a very lucky guy to live to 200.”

Somehow, that crappy answer seems to appease him. Conversation over.

“Hey, Mom!” TheLittlePrince picks up a hat. “I’m going to pretend like this thing is 100 years old, and I’m the guy who’s going to bury it!”

Not sure if I should be disturbed, but hey, Tim Burton seems to have done well for himself.