My baby is 13. My child is no longer a child. It's ridiculous. I can't even explain how quickly it all went without sounding like an old lady. I had a minute to dig through some old boxes of pictures last night. These are just a small selection of my favorites. They aren't in any order. Feel free to come along for a trip down memory lane. It's gonna be a long one. After all, I'm chronicling thirteen whole years.
From the day before Sean deployed.
He was 11 days old in this one.
One Halloween he was going to be a lion, but it was too hot. So he went as a cowboy instead.
I didn't realize how much Jude looks like him until this very last picture. Life was so simple with this one.
I missed his birthday on the blog last year because life was insane, but we did celebrate somewhere.
We were able to celebrate with my brother and nephew last night. Pizza out, then back home for cake and presents. I asked him if he wanted to do something with friends, he said, "Nah, I'd rather just do something as a family."
When I ordered the cake, I was aiming for something non-Christmasy. All they had in the case was Christmas trees and Santa stuff. So I asked what else they could do and "Snowman" was mentioned. "Yeah, let's do that. A snowman would be cute." Somehow I forgot that my kid was turning 13 and perhaps snowmen don't particularly appeal to teenage boys. Or any male over the age of 3.
Thankfully, I have a very gracious boy who doesn't care either way. "It's fine. It's a snowman," he said. Note to all: Whole Foods cakes suck. Dry and tasteless. I wish I'd just made it myself.
Simon got a bottle of Estee Lauder Pleasures. It's the cologne Sean wore when we first started dating. When I mentioned this to Simon, "How did you ever find it?!" I'm so glad they still have the antique scent!He really liked our stockings, so I took that to mean he'd like a quilt made from the same fabrics. I'm sure there are better presents for a 13 year old boy, but this one...I hope he's able to see how much I love him by the effort I put into this sucker. I was hand stitching the binding right up until we left for dinner last night. I got a little weepy as I was finishing it up, imagining myself packing it into his boxes when he goes off to college. I overdramatize life on a daily basis; I'm 75% more melodramatic on birthdays. He got a few other large gifts to welcome him to manhood that I didn't get pictures of.
This morning, he and I went for a breakfast date. It has become tradition. I think we've only done it once before, but today makes twice and twice makes tradition. I was able to talk him into a few more pictures...
You're a fine young man, my boy. Despite all of our parenting mistakes. Despite moving all the time. Despite being the oldest and having heaps of responsibilities. You are the kind of kid everybody wants to have. You are respectful and polite and kind and helpful and so, so smart. You are a role model to your little brothers and you are hilarious and you are my right hand man. I count on you because I know that I can. I can't wait to see what your future holds. You have already become so much more than I ever imagined. We are so proud of you and we love you more than words could ever express.