Happy Birthday, Ben
Today is Ben's birthday. 13 years ago, after many many hours of labor, he finally joined the world.
He is officially a teenager.
My sweet baby has been replaced with a very tall, grunting guy.
That's pretty much big conversation from him. Unless it's American Idol season.
But when he was little... oh, the curls on his head. (Zachary is in blue. Jake was not born yet.)
He loved a rocking giraffe my mother gave him and Zachary for Christmas. It was the same year she was there and let them play with her fur coat. In this video, you can hear her laughing off screen.
He's grown up now. Not completely, by any means but he's taller than Jeanine. He's handsome and full of teen angst. There are days when we get along great and days I have no idea what to do with him.
Okay, to be honest? It's more of an hour to hour thing.
Tonight Walter and Allan will come over and we'll have the birthday dinner. Until this morning, I thought I was going to have to have Kentucky Fried Chicken, as that was his choice until I finally begged to make him something at home, please please please. He chose chili, corn bread and chocolate cake. I should let them all have Coke and we can have the "C" meal.
I watch those early videos and I cannot believe he was really that little. That he was so free to be himself, wearing pink slippers and dancing a ballerina move. He was full of energy and excitement all the time. He laughed out loud and said I love you all the time.
I know that little boy exists inside the rough, tough, teenage exterior. I know there are times he would love to twirl. I also know all that kindness is still inside, wrapped in anger and frustration from not fitting in the way he thinks he should.
Not to mention the curls which now exist tucked under a "gansta" baseball cap.
I love him and some day, he will be able to love himself.
Happy Birthday, Ben.