Losing My Independence

Happy Independence Day everyone! On this day in 1776 America gained its independence from Great Britain.

On this day in 2007 I lost my independence to an 8 pound 9 ounce bundle of joy and frustration. I really can’t complain. He was a fairly easy baby to care for, once we figured out why he was crying. Hungry? Dirty diaper? Wanted to be rocked? Wanted to be put down? Ahh… he wants swaddled in 95 degree Virginia heat.

He was my introduction to all things baby, parenting, and fatherhood.

10 years later he is still my introduction too all things parenting and parenthood.

Double digits. The big 1-0. Exactly 1/4 of his parents age. And I’m still trying to figure out this parenting gig.

He is one part sweet, one part boisterous, one part stubborn like an old mule.

One part sweet

I’ve seen in him help a classmate in need. Said classmate needed help packing his backpack after snack time while we were on a field trip. While he finished his snack Crash packed his classmate’s bag. No one asked him to. No one demanded it or implied it. He just did it. I’ve heard of him helping another classmate out of the building during fire drills because the classmate has a hard time with the loud bells. Crash holds his hand and stay with them until they are safely outside with the rest of their class. No one asked him to. No one demanded it or implied it. He just did it. I’ve caught him reading to his little brother at bedtime. Partly because it allows them to stay up a few minutes longer and partly because he loves him. Even if it is hard to tell that at times. He has gotten in minor trouble at school a few times because some “friends” told on him. Not once have I heard of him tattling on those same friends.

One part boisterous

He is the stereotypical boy – dirt with noise. Son up to son down. There’s is usually never any doubt as to where he is. We can either hear him or we can follow his trail of dirt. Like Charlie Brown’s friend, Pigpen. Minus the blankie. If there’s dirt, or even better, mud, or water or rocks or sticks he is guaranteed to be playing in them or with them. Especially, if he’s been told not to. If there’s music playing he likes it to rattle the windows and echo off the mountainside. Yet, on the flip side of the same coin, he can be shy. Talking to new people doesn’t come easy for him. He enjoys singing, but not if anyone is listening.

Stubborn as an old mule

Tell him not to do something is a surefire way to get him to do it. It works in reverse, too. Tell him to do something and chances are he won’t. Unless he really wants to. Get ready for school? No chance in hell. Great ready for bed? Might as well bang your head against the wall. It’ll be far less painful.

Time and again people comment on how big he’s getting, both in height and in age. He calls himself a pre-teen now. I guess technically he is. How old does he think he is? What was I doing when I was 10?

Bud. Buddy. Riggity. Dude. He is mostly our pride, joy, and source of laughter. He is also a little bit of frustration. Though, we’re probably all a bit of frustration at times.

Happy 10th birthday, man.