Saturday, January 05, 2008

A Decade of C

Happy birthday, C.

I've been a parent for a decade now, ever since the birth of C, a day that is burned into my brain. I don't have the best memory, yet I'll never forget the moment C emerged. He looked really gross. And beautiful. He was a difficult baby, but he's grown into a very helpful, smart and funny little boy with talents and potential as large as his smile.

When C was only four-years-old, he and I took a trip on the train up to Chicago, just the two of us. The train north runs at night and I hadn't thought about how to sleep on board, but once he fell asleep in the empty seat next to me, I realized I couldn't comfortably sleep without worrying that he'd wake up in the middle of the night and wander off or be carried away by some crazy riding the rails. So I draped my legs over him and dozed for just a few minutes at a time throughout the night. We rolled into the city the next morning in tact, stopped in to see our Favorite Aunt Carol and then I took him to the Field Museum of Natural History to see an actual T Rex skeleton. And, to make the day more exciting, he took his his first ride in a taxi. And then I took him to a cigar shop. We spent that weekend with family and C had a great time running around with his cousins. He was upset every night at bedtime because he missed his mother, and this may have been the greatest test of the weekend for me. It wasn't easy being a solo parent and navigating a child from Memphis to Chicago, then around that city, making sure he'd eaten and gone to the bathroom and was having fun. But it really wasn't easy seeing him upset at night at this young age and trying to make him understand that his mother was just at home waiting on him, that she missed him, too, and that he'd see her again in just a couple of days.

We made it through that trip unscathed and well-bonded. And we've made it through these first 10 years the same way, I hope. It hasn't been easy, but it's been a load of fun, and every day has been a first for him, Kristy and me, as we try to figure out how to make our way.

Happy birthday, C. I love you.

Ten things C enjoys:

  • Riding his bike
  • Reading
  • The Marx Brothers
  • Drawing
  • Spending time with family
  • Staying up late
  • The Simpsons
  • His friends
  • Ravioli
  • Talking