Thursday, February 11, 2016

Double Digit Charlie

                 I have been preparing to write this blog post for WAAAAY too long tonight, getting carried away looking at all these old pictures of my boy.  I can’t believe that it has been a decade since Charlie came plunging into our world (if you haven’t heard his birth story, it’s pretty remarkable, you can Jeff’s version of it here, though mine is pretty different…need to document it one day).  I knew from the minute I went into labor with Charlie that he was going to be golden.  His entrance into the world foreshadowed the life he is leading: a big soul, breaking all the rules (in the good way), unique, full of excitement and kind of unpredictable.   He was also born with a Caul (and I just found out that there’s a whole website about this!). Apparently he is a Caulbearer.  He had a thin covering or veil over his face at birth.  Legend has it that this indicates great depth and wisdom and possibly all kinds of other magical powers.  Not sure how much oomph I put into those legends….but in Charlie’s case it could be true.  This kid is pretty remarkable.  08-01-2006 - BEAR LAKE 027It’s hard to believe that this little blob of a baby is now my big strapping young boy.  2006-1 More Charlie 0112007-09 hazel's birthday, linus, camping, tomatoes 097Look at that tomato bigger than his big belly.  2007-9 camping, birthdays etc 343charlie and hazel in window-4560I’ve always LOVED the determination with which Charlie does things. (especially running)IMG_7493-1925IMG_7515Quite the ladies man. IMG_4792IMG_0075(explanation: one year for Halloween Charlie dressed up like his dad….cutting his long locks into this winning haircut….)IMG_3424IMG_2605We did some serious celebrating this year for his big double digit birthday.  Jeff was going to be out of town on the actual day which really threw Charlie for a loop. So, to make it up to him, Jeff worked with him for a few Saturdays to build this loft bed.  Charlie has a builder/inventor heart beating in his chest, but in our 1400 square feet of living space there’s just now room for Charlie to build.  His room has been impossible to walk through lately, littered with all is building projects.  This lack of space may have bugged Jeff even more than it bugged Charlie.  Jeff wanted so much for him to have his own work space like Jeff had in his basement as a kid.  So, they came up with this plan and using some 2x4’s from Home Depot they gave his bed a boost.  With all the repurposing they did and with the bookshelves I snagged from someone’s trash I think the whole project cost them $35 and a few hours on a few separate Saturdays.  IMG_2616IMG_3065Here Charlie is with the finished under the bed workshop. Still not immaculate, but Jeff has stressed the importance of me not getting involved on that front.  He says the very definition of a workshop is a place that your mom doesn’t tell you to clean up.  I have to say, this little room transformation has completely transformed Charlie’s life.  He’s got the space to work on all the things his mind is chewing on all day. IMG_3066 I love this photo even more.  Shows all his passions: building, turtles, cello, space and baseball.    IMG_2876On the Sunday before his birthday we had the first of the birthday celebrations so that Jeff could be in on some of it.  For dessert we had blueberry dumplings.  Charlie was born on my Grandpa Deans birthday.  Dean died when my dad was a teenager so I never got to meet him, but  my Grandma taught me to make Blueberry Dumplings which I guess were one of his favorites.  So, in his honor we made them and they were really easy and super yummy.  I’ll have to post the recipe one day.  I love the connection Charlie Dean has with his Grandpa Dean.  IMG_2949On his actual birthday I took him out of school early for lunch and froyo and a trip to the RC car store.  IMG_3018And we went rock climbing afterschool with two of his best buddies.  We ate pizza and opened a few little presents and ate brownies and ice cream. 

IMG_8541And then, since he’s turning an even number this year, he got to have a friend birthday party.  He invited his whole class and about 3/4 of them showed up.  Charlie was so great planning the whole thing, getting it all set up with me, making invitations, figuring out activities.  They spent the first 20 min following our party plan.  They painted planets and then everything went wild.  They had a full on disco-lit, music blaring, screaming pillow fight in the basement before they came up for pizza and cake.  I’m sure part of the craziness is just their age, but I think it was also due to the fact that these same kids have been in the same class together for 4 years.  They were all biting at the chance to let loose a little together after spending so much time trying to be civilized in a class room. 

Charlie didn’t mind the craziness and I think everyone had a pretty rockus time.  IMG_3070

This ^^ is one of my all time favorite expressions of Charlie.  Pure glee in that face there.  IMG_8544IMG_8548


Ten things Charlie has brought into our world over the past decade:

  1. An insatiable curiosity about how things work.  Mechanical things, yes, but he pretty much wants to know how the who world works.  He has a never ending supply of questions and when someone has the time to answer them he is quick and bright and gets it.
  2. I’m pretty sure he has the beginnings of some serious inventions inside of that head.  He’s going to make a mark on the world with all his questioning and thinking. 
  3. Sensitivity.  Charlie can sense what people around him need and has a way of quietly connecting with people in pain and offering them light.
  4. Lots of pestering.  Mostly the kind that makes Emmeline scream at the top of her lungs.  But working hard to reign that in.  To use that gift he has to know exactly what will get a reaction to get good reactions instead of loud angry ones.
  5. Glee.  Charlie is full of wonder and glee and those things spill out of him onto all of us.
  6. Humor.  Charlie knows how to take a joke and is pretty darn good lately at shelling them out.  I love it so much when Charlie really belly laughs.  He gains so much satisfaction out of the things he finds funny. 
  7. Faith.  Charlie has an infallible sense of what is real.  He feels things strongly and is willing to do hard things if he knows they’re the right thing.  He has a fire inside of him to be a force for good in the world and he’s sensitive to the light and truth that will lead him.
  8. Passion.  When Charlie decides to love something he throws his whole heart into it.  He lives and breaths it.  He digests it until it becomes a huge part of who he is.  Currently it’s RC cars, but it’s also baseball and rock climbing and cello. 
  9. Persistence.  Charlie will not let down.  If there is something good and right the he feels like he deserves he will find a way to make it happen.  At times this is a little problematic, but I trust he grow and learn to use this ability to make good and right things happen.
  10. Whole Heartedness.  Charlie is the most confident person I know.  He isn’t never seems to doubt himself (which at times, of course, is a little problematic).  But, he knows exactly who he is and what he’s about and that leaves him free to be himself. 

And we all pretty much love who he is.  Love you Charlie Dean.  We’re all so thrilled that you dove into our world. 


  1. What a fun Birthday and sooo cool that he has his own workshop space now! How inspiring! Our home is really little, and I might just have to see if we can figure something like this out too (for our curious little minds!) Speaking of curious, how did Charlie and friends make those neat planets?

    1. Thanks for your comment! Yes, if you have a small space, this loft bed thing rocks! (except it's so high that it's hard for me to climb up, and I miss sitting on the edge of Charlie's bed).

      An artist friend taught me how to make those planets. Hers are out of this world (excuse the pun). Check out her stuff: These kids made their own versions by painting lots of layers of paint over tissue paper that Charlie and I and a friend had glued down in a circle beforehand. A pretty fun project.

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    3. I'll check it out, thanks!

  2. Charlie, you are so lucky to have a Mom that understands you this well and loves you this much!
    (By the way, I agree with her on every wonderful thing she said about you!--especially the Baseball part!)

  3. Such a cute birthday cake! The idea was fantastic. I think that a party without cake is just like a meeting. I will also host such a vibrant party for my son at one of his favorite party venues in NYC. Hopefully, will be able to execute everything to perfection.



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