Skip to main content

From There to Here in 3 Short Years

There is just something magical about the first awareness of a birthday.

"It's my birthday! I going to be three! I so excited!!"

His wishes were simple:
new shoes for preschool
and a red backpack.

Daddy let him pick out his own birthday cake.
It had Winnie-the-Pooh on it and
sat in our refrigerator for a full 24 hours;
being checked on and pointed out every ten minutes.

"That's my birthday cake! I so excited!!"

He could hardly get to sleep:
"Tomorrow's my birthday! I so excited!!"

Our prayers included blessing Grammy and Papa
and Great Grandma and our birthday cake.

He literally jumped out of bed the next morning, arms flung wide:
"It's my birthday! I so excited!!"

He dressed himself in his big boy underwear,
light blue shirt and khaki shorts.

"I go church and Sunday School and sing music for my birthday! I so excited!!"

He skipped through the parking lot:
"I hear the music! I so excited!!"

After church services, everyone at Coffee Hour sang Happy Birthday...
he didn't realize it wasn't for him.
But he didn't care.

"It's my birthday!" he yelled when they finished. "I so excited!!"

We had pizza for lunch and too much cake and ice cream
and a visit from Rosie.
(They were both so excited!)

Then the five of us climbed into the car:
Mommy and Daddy
and two Big Sisters
and the super excited Birthday Boy.

And together we all went shopping
to look for new shoes for preschool
and a red backpack.


Boys are found everywhere --
on top of,
inside of,
climbing on,
swinging from,
running around
jumping to.

Mothers love them,
little girls hate them,
older sisters and brothers tolerate them,
adults ignore them
 and Heaven protects them.

A boy is Truth with dirt on its face,
Beauty with a cut on its finger,
Wisdom with bubble gum in its hair
and the Hope of the future with a frog in its pocket.

A boy is a magical creature;

You can lock him out of your workshop,
but you can't lock him out of your heart.

You can get him out of your study,
but you can't get him out of your mind.

Might as well give up
he is your captor,
your jailer,
your boss
and your master;

a freckled-faced,
cat-chasing bundle of noise.

But when you come home at night
with only the shattered pieces of your hopes and dreams,
he can mend them like new with two magic words:
Hi, Dad!

~ Alan Marshall Beck


Chiconky said…
Happy birthday Kiddo! Three is awesome (and even better with a red backpack)!
Great birthday, momma! Happy Birthday big dude!
Becca said…
This is so awesome. Laughed out loud at " cat-chasing bundle of noise." YES. SO THIS.

Happy birthday to Cletus!

Popular posts from this blog

The House that God Built

in·stan·ta·ne·ous /ˌinstənˈtānēəs/ adjective 1. occurring or done in an instant or instantly.
synonyms: immediate, instant, on-the-spot

The thing is, she died so sudden.
I didn't have the chance to plead with God, to make all the irrational promises. If he would just let her be okay.... I would start taking better care of my health. I would be nicer to the neighbor that drove me crazy. I would always let someone else go in front of me at Walmart no matter how long the line was. I wouldn't complain. Ever. I would volunteer at the Homeless Shelter. I would clean up after pigs. I would clip the toenails of the elderly. I would do anything and everything He would ask me to do....
There is a box on her death certificate that captures the amount of time between the initial injury and the time of death. It reads "seconds." I wish it read "instantaneous" because she deserves a clever word like that.
Fast forward five years.... definitely taking MUCH longer than "…

Seeing Avery All Grown Up

One day I'll tell you about the freezing cold we left and the heavy bags we lugged, full of supplies and medicines. I'll tell you about arriving in Port au Prince and walking across a cracked concrete parking lot to board an old school bus with a flat tire. How the heat was suffocating after months of below zero Wisconsin winter weather, how the people crowded and walked too close to moving traffic as we searched for a tire shop that was barely more than a couple men sitting on overturned 5-gallon buckets on the side of the road next to a pile of old tires, everything covered in dirt.

I'll tell you about waiting on the bus while they removed the tire and I'll recall the loud explosion that rocked the bus and scared the life out of me and how I was relieved to learn it was just the tire blowing after being filled too far. (They didn't have any gauges.) And then I'll tell you about the fear I felt when I realized we didn't have a tire and we were stuck on th…

When Your Imagined Life is Nothing Like This One

There were so many ways I imagined my adult life would be....THIS is not one of them.
I posted that on my Facebook wall last night. It might have been seen as funny except my choice of hashtags gave me away:
treading water getting nowhere piles of disappointment not many successes worn out and exhausted out of options

I always imagined my life would be thrilling. Full of exciting adventures and people from all over the world. I would dine at Ethiopian, Thai, and Indian restaurants. I would write books, teach English, coach forensics and direct the play. My husband would be charming and funny and not care about gender roles when it came to household chores. He would beg for at least six kids and I would fall in love with him all over again each time I caught him giving good life advice.
I would take photographs and travel the world documenting the people I came across. I would adopt a sibling group of three or maybe four and work on foster care policies because the ones we have aren't work…