Thursday, May 03, 2007

A Two-Cake Birthday

The tradition in our family is two cakes on your birthday. The day begins with the whole family coming to your bed with a lit-up birthday cake, singing Happy Birthday, and having cake for breakfast.

Later on, is the family dinner with the birthday cake of the child's choosing. (Mom chooses the morning cake and it's always a surprise.) Today, for my son, I made a s'mores cake. Chocolate cake, topped with melted chocolate and graham cracker crumbs. Right before taking upstairs, I topped it with big marshmallows and ran the pan in the oven til they were puffed and brown. A big hit.

So, 11 years ago, I became a Mom.

I'm not the first to say that you just can't put into words the kind of love you feel for your child. You just can't. There's nothing like it in the world.

But I am continually amazed at how much I like my son.

He likes to talk with me. I'm a mom of 4, and sometimes, it's just not convenient. Need to deal with the fussy baby, get The Princess started on her homework, shoot, I need to start dinner ...

I try to remember how very precious this time is. As several of my blogger friends will tell me, too soon he will be of an age where talking to Ol' Mom will be as much fun as going to the dentist.

Maybe not. I try to not pigeonhole him into anything, even the "what he'll be like as a teenager" box.

As I mentioned in the comments of the previous post, he recently requested that he be allowed to stay in the service rather than go with the other children. Sometimes, during the service, he wants to sit on his father's or my lap. It is a precious, sweet time right now. Old enough to want to hear the adult service, but young enough to want to cuddle. (And how much do I love our church, that he feels comfortable doing so. He certainly wouldn't do that at school!)

I am honored that he is willing to come to me with questions, even questions like "What does 'humping' mean?" "Why do kids at school think a person choosesto be gay?" "What does 'boning' mean?" (Note to parents of really young children. It's Fifth Grade. That's when it all hits. Popularity, puberty and pills -- being them, not taking them.) So I try to respond honestly and matter-of-factly. "'Boning' refers to sexual intercourse. I believe that the context is usually from the point of view of the male."

I don't know how long it will last, us being able to talk openly and honestly with teach other. I adore my parents, but we didn't have that. To this day, if I try to talk to my Mom about sex, she manages to change the subject.

Now, he's old enough that we can talk books. We discussed, at length, Where the Red Fern Grows and Toby Tyler. He's reading The Yearling right now. Then I'll be ready for a break from dead-pet stories. He recently read A Wrinkle in Time and I steered him towards A Wind in the Door, because I think the climax is so much better. Finding love in your heart for someone you thought you hated ... how very UU!

I really, really like my son. And most of the time, I really like listening to him. Those of you with children understand.

11 years old. In that same blink of an eye that it took to get here, he'll be 22 years old.

I'm sorry, did someone just suck all of the oxygen out of the room?

I love introducing him to pop culture. This past year, he met Ferris Bueller and Bill & Ted. He thinks they are both the pinnacle of theatrical greatness. And for this morning, I put together a CD with Dr. Demento-type songs. The clean ones. He had never heard "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-ha" or "Fish Heads."

See, Mom doesn't just make cake, she also provides a cultural education.


Kaleigh said...

What a wonderful love letter to your son. He sounds fabulous. Maybe we can introduce him to my daughter in a few years...I think they'd hit it off fantastically.

I'm constantly amazed at what good company my kids are. I guess it shouldn't amaze me...I raised these two people with my favorite adult, so it should follow that they're turning out to be people I like. But I'm so grateful that it's working out that way.

The cake, by the way, sounds so good! I may have to steal that idea for our birthday spectacular later this month.

Nancy said...

Something about this post hit me just right...why am I crying?

Beautiful. Enjoy the day.

Mary Ann said...

Wow. I didn't know that any kids still read Toby Tyler. I was pretty retro reading it in the late 1960 and early 1970s. And it totally shook me.