May 2nd, 2008

T.R. is 11

Today is T.R.’s birthday. He is eleven! It is an exciting day; I can tell because he woke up before his alarm clock and sprung upon me fully dressed when I went to see if he was up.

For the occasion, Brent got up unbelievably early. Syd struggled out of the blankets and threw on a t-shirt so T. could open his presents and, I hoped, calm down a bit. He now has a new scooter and helmet and more Legos than any kid not T.R. would know what to do with. His grandparents sent a dragon book that will be much appreciated and yet more Legos that will arrive shortly. We had Nabolom breakfast on the way to school. After school, T.’s friend is coming home with us to hang out and have sushi and ice cream. Tomorrow, another batch of T.’s friends will be here for a party, complete with treasure hunt.

And I am dissolving into a puddle of mush, of course. T. is my baby, the little one, the one who, eleven years ago, weighed just over 5 pounds as he burst into the world. He looked like a skinny little kitten, his legs devoid of baby fat.

He was born in the midst of chaos (aren’t we all?), and yet what I remember most is the feeling of peace when at last I was settled in a room, T. by my side, just the two of us. He was glad to be here, putting on weight even in the first week, although he’s unlikely ever to get fat.

T. is the antidote to my sarcasm and my cynicism. He has, as long as he’s been able to talk, been able to disarm people by answering their questions with a seriousness that those who talk down to children seldom expect. It changes the conversation in good ways. He has faith.

And he laughs. This morning, at the beginning of chapter 14 of The Once and Future King, he read a sentence that cracked him up for a full three minutes because he misunderstood the unusual phrasing. “The cows were turned into the high stubble.” Poof! Cows, you are wheat stalks! Why this struck him so funny is unclear, but his giggles were infectious.

I am so glad he was born.