Charlie turned 9 this weeks. It’s hard to believe it’s been nine years since he plunged into the world. (Literally he did plunge into the world…see his unbelievable birth story here). I remember when I started to go into labor with him, contractions were beginning to be more regular and serious, I was in the grocery store, by all the 75% off holiday leftovers, and I felt this distinct feeling of peace wash over me. It said to me, “this boy will be pleasing, a delight, he’s gonna get it all right.” Maybe it’s that I could feel labor starting at the precise moment that I wanted it to (in the afternoon of his great grandfather’s birthday) but I think it’s more likely that it was a real prompting, a real spiritual indication of the nature of the spirit that was to join our family.
And this nine year old dream has fulfilled that mini prophesy. He has been a delight to mother, to watch change and grow and learn and progress. Sure, he’s had his moments, his full not-so-good stages, but overall he is a joy and such an incredible addition to our family.
Since he’s turning an odd numbered age there was no big friend birthday hoopla, just some quiet family celebrating. It was nice.
The day started with birthday soufflé (German pancakes, but we’ve renamed them since that’s what everyone wants for their birthday breakfast), then school, then an early release for a little lunch date with me. This was the highlight of my day. My boy chose to eat at Sweet Green, my new favorite lunch spot where all they serve is deliciously packed salads. We had to drive downtown in the beginning of a blizzard to get these sweet greens, but it was worth it, the staff there were all so impressed that he chose a birthday salad that they gave it to him for free (charmed life that boy leads). We had a great little ‘interview’ during lunch, talked about how he’s doing in school, with his friends, physically, with his families. He is such a great kid to talk to.
After school we went swimming at the Y. I wish I’d have taken a picture, but it’s pretty tricky to get four kids in and out of a pool (especially when you have to go out into blizzarding conditions!). So, just imagine all of us there at the Y. We always swim on Charlie’s birthday to commemorate his big birth day splash into that tub. And the day ended with fish tacos at home and a car cake made by Hazel.
Charlie’s big exciting gift was a retro (craigslisted) iPod Nano. He has been longing for one of these ever since Hazel got one on her ninth birthday. I loaded it up with ted talks about robots and space and his favorite music. Hazel even bought him some new songs we didn’t own. He’s been in his one little music/ted talk world ever since. (Time to make some technology rules.)
During dinner we went around the table a few times and told Charlie the things we love about him. Each time it came around to him he was ripe with things to say that he likes about himself. And they were all spot on and much more insightful than the things that we were all coming up with. That’s one of my favorite things about Charlie. He knows who he is, he knows he’s cool, he’s got more confidence in his little finger than most people have in their whole bodies!
So here are some pictures I couldn’t resist posting of Charlie throughout the years. That boy was born with sparkle. First birthday ^^ Two!Three!Four! Five! Gotta love all the different stages of Charlie’s hair. Wow, he had some winner hair styles. (The one above is when he dressed up like his dad for Halloween). Look at that shag! ^^ Great big brother. This summer he got up on water-skis! This was his first try. Clearly I’m excited. I love how he sticks out his tongue when he’s doing something hard. Love it when kids do that!
9 reasons why I love being Charlie’s mom:
- Charlie is curious. His mind is always trying to figure things out. I’ve never met a kid with so many questions. He has learned exactly which questions to ask us to get us to linger in his room a little longer at night. To Jeff it’s things like ‘how do the shocks work on a bike, or how long would it take to get to mars?’ to me it’s things like ‘how do you know if God is listening to your prayers?’ He’s sneaky and somehow always knows how to hook us in with his questions.
- He knows exactly what he wants and WILL NOT STOP until he gets it. This year he got that RC car for Christmas but had to buy a bunch of stuff to get it to actually work and boy that kid worked every single angle trying to figure out how to get the money to get that car up and running. He just asks for what he needs and persists until he gets it. Even though this can be a little annoying at times, mostly it’s a good thing. It will really get him places in life.
- Charlie is a good friend. He always wants to be around people and he’s always kind to the people he’s around (aside from siblings of course).
- Charlie has taught me a lot about feeling close to the spirit and to his Heavenly Father. He has a spirit that really can tune into what Heavenly Father wants for him to feel. He’s brought me closer to God as I’ve watched him tune in.
- Charlie is a good listener (can’t believe I’m saying this! He didn’t listen to me for YEARS!) Not only is he good at listening and remembering what I’ve asked him to do, most of the time he listens to my advice and takes me seriously. I can instruct him on how to do something at school, how to treat a friend or a sibling, how to be healthy and he follows my advice! It is such a gift to have a child who you feel like listens and respects what you say.
- Charlie is a HARD worker. Of course there’s the normal bellyaching at times when he’s more interested in something else, but once he gets going he works hard until a task is done. I love it when he gets into that working mode. I can see a little glimpse of the adult Charlie in him. He’s not going to be afraid to do hard things.
- Charlie is a good brother. I can almost always get him to back down and be kind to his siblings. Of course he has mastered pestering his sisters, but they know he loves them.
- Charlie is pretty funny. One of my favorite things to do is watch him laugh, he has an incredible deep belly laugh. And his eyes shine.
- Charlie has a good heart. He wants to do what is right. He knows when something doesn’t feel right and works to change things. I love him for this.
Happy Birthday Charlie! Can’t wait to keep uncovering who you are.