Archive for October 2008

Ben is 7!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

84 months ago at 5:10 a.m. Benjamin Davis joined our family after a record long labor. All along I believed (and was told) that each subsequent birth a woman has will be even quicker than the previous one. Being that my middle child's delivery took a whopping 5 hours I worried that I might not make it to the hospital in time with this one. Ha!! Wrong!! Twenty--that's right 2-0-- hours of hard labor is what I endured to see this precious babe. Add that one to the long list of old wives' tales. Maybe that's why they're called that: The women are too old when they tell the stories and so their memories are selective.

I have a theory about childbirth: A baby's personality is extremely similar to the way in which he or she came into this world. This holds true for all of my children (and most of my friends' children) and especially applies to my youngest. I had a false alarm 2 days before the due date and did a mild induction (no pitocin just prostaglandin gel--don't ever do it) I left the hospital an hour after the procedure and was dilated to 2 cm. Twelve hours later I returned, only to be told I had progressed to a............3!! The nurse told me they'd give me a shot to help me sleep and when I woke up in the morning I'd be in full labor. As soon as they took me off the monitor and I waited for the shot, it all broke loose and I went from 3 to 5 in 5 minutes. Once I had the epidural at 11:00 p.m. , I didn't progress for three hours. Then a couple hours laterI had a baby boy in my arms.
All these details prove my point. This simply sums up Ben's personality: "I'm ready. Now I'm not. I might want that. No, I decided that I really don't. You think you have me figured out and then I'll throw a monkey wrench in your plans to see if you're paying attention." It's really quite comical.

So in honor of Ben's 7th birthday celebration allow me to share those seven attributes I love about that little boy who is rapidly becoming a big boy.

  1. Joyful-he came out of the womb smiling and hasn't stopped. His grin is from ear to ear and lights up his face. Even when he's frowning it doesn't last long. He just can't help but smiling and when you look at him, you just can't help but return the grin.
  2. Tenacious-when he wants to do something that his big brothers are doing or try a new activity, he doesn't let up. He'll stick with it until he's mastered the game or skill.
  3. Resilient-as the youngest of three boys, he has endured more bumps, bruises and scrapes than most. Even when he appears to be down for the count, it doesn't last long. The tears rarely continue more than 60 seconds before he's out there going for it again. If he catches a virus and the common course of symptoms is a week, he'll be over it in 48 hours--or less.
  4. Affectionate-as a newborn, he would nuzzle under your neck and stay there forever. He is still the best cuddler and gives hugs and kisses morning, noon and night.
  5. Hard working-he loves to learn and embraces every new subject whether in school or life. When he can't figure something out we often find him alone giving himself a pep talk on how to accomplish the task.
  6. Energetic-he wakes up and hits the ground running every day. "Walk" is not a word in his vocabulary. Slowing down only happens during REM. One of his nicknames is "Benny the Jet".
  7. Loving-he has the most tender heart. Recently, when I was under the weather, he called me from a playdate to see how I was feeling. It was the sweetest gesture ever!

Happy Birthday to you, Benjamin! You'll always be my baby! Love you forever, Mom

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Being Boys Not Allowed

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ask any man to share his favorite childhood memories and more often than not they involve playing in the woods. The forest is a magical place for young lads to explore, create, imagine and play. The words "boy" and "woods" are synonymous. At least they used to be.

Fast forward 30 years and try to remember the last time you even heard of a boy spending much time playing outdoors let alone in the trees. Is it the video games clammering for their attention or is it the response they get from the "protectors of the environment"? Seems to me that the trees and animals who dwell there are more important than the invaluable time spent a exploring the wilderness.

When we bought our recent home, one of the items on our "wish list" was that the house have a large forested lot or be close to woods. Having three active boys we knew this was a non-negotiable. What sold us on this neighborhood was the 100 acres of undeveloped land and a trail system butting up to the property. The trailhead to their school is a mere 75 yards from our driveway. For the first two years my boys would spend hours off the trails building small bike jumps and forts. They would come home to check in with contagious enthusiasm over their newest creation. Other boys who would normal stay indoors followed along and got hooked on enjoying our local forest. Then the "protectors of the land" got wind of it and it all came tumbling down--literally!

Every day after school the kids would head out to play and return home upset over their destroyed jumps. Mind you these mounds of dirt were at the bottom of gulley, off the beaten path and not visible from the trails. EVERYDAY they were dismantled. It was beyond aggravating. The boys would come home in tears and eventually their trips to the woods slowly dwindled to about once every two weeks.

We happen to live in what is referrred to as "the watershed". Our neighborhood area is upstream from the lake which supplies drinking water to 80,000+ residents. The city council has determined that growth and development is the cause of a rise in phosphorous levels in this body of water. As a result no dirt can be moved during the rainy season of Oct-May. The environmental advocates feel so passionate about protecting this area and keeping it undeveloped that this forested area is now labeled a "preserve". When we returned from vacation this last May, the sign above was posted at the beginning of the trailhead. The picture is of a jump our neighborhood kids built. What a slap in the face! Now the simple act of being a boy is now punishable by law!!

I'm all for being respectful to property but do they really think that making a few bike jumps and "moving the earth" is really the cause of rising phosphorous levels???? What about the dog owners who refuse to pick up after their canine. I'm sure there's no harm in that. It's those awful children out there being..........children!

So what used to be commonplace is now breaking the law. So the next time you see or hear about a teenager heading to juvenile detention don't assume it's for stealing, using drugs, or other misdemeanors. Their rap sheet could now conceivably include "moving dirt".


Mimi & Papa Jim's Visit

Thursday, October 16, 2008

We got to see Mimi & Papa Jim for the third time in 2008!
They just returned to Florida after 5 days immersed in our crazy household. We know it was an enormous contrast to their daily life of quiet and retired but they sure jumped in and kept up with the activity.
Below are some highlights of our visit:
Still needing to burn energy after two hours of soccer
Enjoying a beautiful sunny soccer Saturday
The three October birthdays
Mimi knitted Ben and Ian fabulous beanies. They haven't taken them off since she left.