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Eight Years Old

Eight Years Old

November 18, 2008

Eight years ago you were born. Proving that colic can in fact strike a family twice. It’s been eight years. We are still waiting for it to end. Anytime now would be fine… just sayin’


You have long ago lost that brand new baby smell. Now the only time I have the urge to smell your head is when you get out of the shower with a completely dry head of hair, yet insist that you washed it.


You were a serious baby. You did not like to smile. Ever. You were so stingy with your smiles that we have very few caught in photos.

Even now you are still a serious kid. Last spring your baseball coach called you intense. That is a very fitting description of your personality. You are intense. You never joked around with your team mates in the dugout, unlike your 9 yr old brother who is always up for goofing off. Your oldest brother helped coach the team and said that you really never even SPOKE to the other kids. When I asked you why you were so quiet you said that you weren’t there for fun. Oh, the seriousness of coach pitch baseball! Who knew Little League was not supposed to be fun.

You Are a prickly pear of a kid who doesn’t like to be held or hugged. Sure you tolerate the good night hug and kiss, but other than that you have no particular longing to sit on my lap or have me hold you. And you never really have. That was why this past year when you were so sick and in the hospital it was particularly heart wrenching to have you holding onto me. I knew how badly you must feel to want to curl up on my lap and have me hold you tightly.


I manage to catch more of your smiles now on camera.

We are going to Disney World next month and we haven’t told any of you kids yet. Mostly because you are the type of kid who likes to ask questions. You also do not like any sort of variation from your normal routine. It sends you into a tailspin. A crazy swirling tailspin where you ask question after question after question, even though you know the answer already. It’s like you just want to have the reassurance that nothing has changed in the three minutes since you previously asked it.

And while I can sit here and type about it all calm and logically, when it is going on it drives me crazy. CRAZY in all CAPS. Because do I really have to answer the question of whether or not you are going to sit next to me in the airplane again. (The answer, by the way, is HELL NO, NOT IF I HAVE A CHOICE.)

(Oh, I kid.)

(Surely I will have a choice.)


It is amazing to me that eight years have passed since you were born. When I look at you I can still see your baby face, just slightly more angular. You love to play outside and climb trees, or whittle with your tiny jack knife. Your birthday list this year has included things like a “machete” a “really really huge jack knife” and a “real gun, or if I can’t have a real one a Nerf gun” You are either going to grow up to be a survival expert or a serial killer. Both of which scare me slightly.

You have also inherited your father’s athletic ability, because Lord knows there is none of it on my side of the family. I come from a long line of people who prefer not to exert themselves or sweat unnecessarily.

You are a hard worker when it comes to perfecting skills that you want to perfect. I wish one of those skills was reading, but you have zero desire to read anything. You will go outside and throw a ball over and over and over again until you can throw it exactly the way you want it to go. Or you will practice doing a jump with your skateboard until that too is perfected. You love to draw and currently are working on perfecting your snake and dragon drawing abilities. As a result I have reams of paper stacked on my counter filled with nearly identical drawings.

Happy Eighth Birthday, my son. You push me to my breaking point nearly every day with your obstinate behavior. But honestly I would not have you be any other way. I love you.

And do not worry, there are plenty of strangers who will be more than happy to sit next to you on the plane.

Posted by Chris @ 3:49 pm  

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  1. Crisanne says:

    When I first saw the title-eight years old-I thought-Oh wow, I thought he was closer in age to my daughter; I guess he’s older than I realized. Then I realized that I’m stupid and my daughter is actually seven and IS still close in age to him. Eight just sounds so big, it freaked me out a bit!

    Happy Birthday to your son!

  2. Keyona says:

    Happy 8th! It’s amazing how fast they grow…

  3. kate says:

    Happy Birthday!

    Still having that colic. LOL!

    He sounds like a great kid.

  4. leatitia says:

    Disney World! OMG THE SECRET! I can’t believe they don’t know yet!

  5. Anna says:

    Happy 8th Birthday!

  6. peepnroosmom says:

    Happy Birthday! Tell Mom that’s what eight year olds are for, Driving them CRAZY. In all CAPS!

  7. debbie says:

    I like the birthday posts the best! It is a loving blog to your children and lets us all know their personalities. Your posts are funny, sad, and oh so honest! All your children are so CUTE!!

  8. Lisa Lisa says:


  9. Athena says:

    Beautiful post, Chris. Happy Birthday Wishes to your son. :)

  10. Catherine says:

    Your children are very lucky, I hope they realize. Also, I’m so excited for Disney; I can only imagine their faces when you tell them!

  11. Kerry says:

    Happy birthday.

    Please tell me, where are you staying when you go to DW. We only have 5 children and we haven’t been able to find anyplace on DW property (within a reasonable budget) that will accommodate us. Any tips would be most appreciated!

  12. Denise says:

    Happy birthday!!!

  13. Lilly says:

    Happy Birthday to your handsome 8 yr old!

  14. Shash says:

    Happy Birthday!!!

    You’re coming to Orlando? Hurray!!! Can I whisk you away to the outlets while you are here? (Mom’s deserve to have fun too!

    Let me know!


  15. Susan says:

    He is totally my favorite.

    Happy birthday!

  16. {heather} says:

    Aww, what a sweet tribute to your little guy! Happy birthday, “8″! :) My oldest turned 21 yesterday. I am still pinching myself trying to let it sink in that she is ACTUALLY 21. It goes by so fast!

  17. Angie says:

    I’m sure his older brother was thrilled to have his birthday so close to his. My older son should know better, but he is less than thrilled to have a birthday 2 days before his baby sister.

    Happy Birthday to your son! He is lucky to have a mother that knows him so well, and accepts him.

  18. rebecca says:

    It cracks me up that Susan has a favorite kid. We don’t even know any of their names except for Miles!

    That said, I’ve got a favorite, too.


  19. bex says:

    disney world rocks! you might want to have your camera handy for when you tell them.

  20. Ruth H says:

    You really do have beautiful children. And as a mother of beautiful children, I know them when I see them. I think I’ve told you I am a twin, an elderly one, we were born with colic and STILL have tummy problems…. colic in the adult form.
    My sympathy to the colicky kids and their moms.

  21. Stephanie says:

    This is a great post…I love your descriptions of your kids, they are so heartwarming and well, I don’t know you or them, but I feel like I do because of the way you capture your family in your writing.

    It makes me want a big family; I think (for just a moment) that perhaps I could do another pregnancy of complete and total bed rest; complete with the in-home nurse, IV nutrition and antibiotics followed by organ failure and an emergency C-section. I think, yes, maybe I’ll do that again for more kids if I could have a fun family like Chris’s. And then I wake up and decide, no, I’ll just enjoy the one child I have and maybe adopt some more one day.

    In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the stories of a big family written by a talented and wonderful mother on the other side of the country.

    So for those of us who cannot or chose not to have big families, keep the stories coming, we love them!

  22. Norma says:

    I don’t know why, but he’s my favorite too! They all seem pretty awesome.

  23. Andrea says:

    Ooh, Disney. I’ll be really curious to see how you do that, I was looking into doing Disney with a large family (not that I have one, I just hope to some day) and it seemed like it would take a lot more money and/or a little more creativity than it would when going with just a few kids.

    Happy birthday to your boy(s)!

  24. kat says:

    happy 8th birthday!!

    chris you are one amazing writer.

  25. Mom on the Run says:

    I hope you can keep the trip a secret. We took our children, 3, 8, and 10, to Disney about 2 years ago. We planned the trip without any of them finding out. I sent them to school the morning of the trip and put a letter in each of their lunchboxes with details of the trip. All were so surprised.

    My then-10-year-old obsesses about everything like your son. She was a little upset that we had not told her, but recovered quickly. I did tell all three that we would never do the surprise trip as it was so hard to plan. A once-in-a-lifetime trip!

  26. Maddy says:

    I have one of “those” boys, my one is 11 and all those drawings will increase and get better and the idea that he may be a serial killer will turn to amazing computer teck guy or super hero designer … they’re the special ones Chris.

  27. Nicki says:

    This is the best of your Birthday posts I have read so far… Congrats!

  28. Wendy 2 says:

    Wow, Happy 8th Birthday. I agree, I love the birthday posts the best.

  29. Amy says:

    Oh my goodness, I gave birth to your son’s twin brother! My 8-year-old comes out of the shower with dry hair too!! And draws the same things over and over and over…..
    Happy Birthday Boy!

  30. Cary says:

    Life is never boring for you. Are you bringing some strong prescription drugs for trip?

  31. Assertagirl says:

    What a beautiful boy, and a beautiful birthday message!

  32. Another Susan says:

    KERRY - may I suggest renting a house? It’s surprisingly cheap, more space, a full kitchen + your own provate pool. We’ve been to Disney 3 times in the last 5 years and rented a house each time. I’ll never do Disney any other way!

    We’ve used All Star Vacations dot com and my brother has used Last Minute Villas dot net. Both are highly recommended!

    CHRIS - I hope your son had a great day. Enjoy Disney. I’ve never seen it decorated for Christmas but I hear it’s beautiful!

  33. Pam says:

    Awe! Have fun at Disney. I have a feeling the Magic Kingdom will never be the same after your visit. But in a totally good way.

  34. kathy says:

    happy 8th birhday have a truly special day–may all your wishes come true..I have an 8 year old girl as well.., just this past October, and boy 8 years certainly goes by way too fast.

  35. Katie in MA says:

    Absolutely precious! And you know what I love? I love that you write about ALL of his personality. You include his flaws so that you’ll all remember what he was REALLY like when you look back, but you’ve done it with such a loving tone that he will always know it was okay. He’ll know you weren’t picking on him, you were loving all of him, the way a mama does.

    Happy Birthday, little man!

  36. liz says:

    Happy birthday!

  37. Another Susan says:

    I just noticed something - I could be wrong … but is his name Kenneth like the shirt says?

    Just an observation. I am not a stalker, I swear LOL

    Chris says: No, that isn’t his name. It is a t-shirt our contractor gave him with his business name on it.

  38. Rose says:

    Happy 8th Birthday! Love the post, Chris– you have a handsome guy there. Must be nice to have one that’s quiet, I certainly don’t know what that is like! LOL

  39. rachel says:

    I wouldn’t have my daughter any other way either. When I’ve reached my breaking point I remember the qualities that are so irksome are the same ones that drive her to be so gifted at everyting she does.

  40. Becky says:

    I saw your blog on another. So funny that our blogs have almost the same name! I named mine that because for years I have said I was in the trenches of motherhood!

    Happy Birthday to your son!

  41. Beth says:

    I love the “cheesy” look when they’re born–you can’t look much newer than that. And when you’re lying there feeling euphoric that this is finally over; the reward in seeing a healthy baby is unmatched in all of life.

    My 8 yr. old was stingy with her smiles too–maybe being born in the year 2000 wasn’t all it was cracked up to be for these kids. The intensity is odd, isn’t it?

  42. Katie says:

    Happy 8th birthday! I love how each child’s personality is so different. Every once and awhile I catch myself wondering why one of mine is acting a certain way and then I realize they’ve always been that way. Comforting and yet maddening all at the same time.

    As for large families and Disney. We had to reserve two adjoining rooms on property, they are very strict about per room numbers. I think there was one (Wilderness Lodge) that allowed 6 (almost all are 4 per room) but it’s been years (2004) so maybe they’ve changed. I don’t plan on going again but we’d probably stay off site next time.

  43. Miguelina says:

    What a handsome young man! Happy 8th Birthday!

  44. meredith says:

    Happy 8th birthday obstinate one. He reminds me of my ten year old. She used to cry and cry as a baby, and I would rock her forever…until I figured out that she would stop crying when I would finally just put her back down in her crib. She’s still not a cuddler, but every once in awhile, she’ll come crashing into my lap for a quick hug.

  45. Liz@thisfullhouse says:

    Thank you for sharing — colic and stingy smiles were the norm in my house, too — Happy Birthday, 8-years-old and have lots of fun…NOT sitting next to Mom.

  46. Sue @ My Party of 6 says:

    Wow. Beautiful. And if Eight needs a friend, I have a Ten who is exactly.like.him. Almost word for word (except he doesn’t tolerate a goodnight hug or kiss). Of all my kids, I am most intrigued to see what he turns out to be. Something intense, although hopefully not a serial killer.

    Happy Birthday, Eight.

  47. angela michelle says:

    I have a post-colicky baby, now 10 yo who is intense and challenging–as in, loves to challenge everything and everyone all the time. My love for him is almost more intense and fierce because of all the times he drives me batty. I’m gonna love this kid into a happy adulthood if it kills us! And it might!

  48. jen says:

    We have a Questioner (that we try to abandon to strangers in airplanes), too. When he was 8, we took him to Orlando, and endured “How long to disney? How long to disney? How long to disney?” We finally gave him an every-time response of “2 hours”. When he protested “you said 2 hours half an hour ago!”, we replied, “OK then, 3 hours!”
    He wore his snow boots on the plane to the Bahamas last year.
    Today,I asked him if the socks he was wearing were dirty. He said “No, they’re clean. I just put them on yesterday!”
    Happy birthday, 8.

  49. Joy H says:

    Happy Belated birthday!
    I think we have the same son. :)