Friday, May 28, 2010


Do you have a favorite flower? A favorite meal? A favorite book? A favorite number? Today, my favorite number is ELEVEN. Why? Today, my eldest child turns eleven.

Eleven? Eleven. Where DOES the time go? In my youth, I never understood listening to the moms, aunts and grandmothers talk about how fast time flies. For me, it seemed an eternity just for the weekend to come. Once you have children, their words continue telling you to "enjoy this time" because they're grown and gone before you know it. And now my baby, my Joshua, my "Joshie Lou" is eleven years old. How did that happen so fast?

Josh 11 yrs (2)">

I still remember the day he was born like it were yesterday. I had gone into work where they'd thrown me a surprise baby shower. From there, I drove my gifts home and then went to my afternoon check up with my OB-GYN. I had a month to go before he was due. When exiting the shower the day before, I had a small trickle (think like 1/2 a tsp.) of fluid after my shower the day before but I thought nothing of it. I remembered and had her check... and yes, indeed, it was amniotic fluid.

Initially, she didn't say anything. She was just very matter-of-fact in her conversation. She had asked what I was doing that weekend (it was a holiday weekend, you see). I gave a laundry list of items and ended with, "We are attending a Memorial Day party and I'm bringing taco salad." She smiled and said, "Change of plans, you're going to have a baby."

I was SHOCKED! Mostly because he wasn't due for a month but also because Josh's dad was due to take a FINAL in an hour at school! I called him at work and was like... I have to go to the hospital. I recall him being silent and then repeating, "My heart. Is beating. So fast." I told him to go in and take his test and then drive to meet me at the hospital.

I went home and tinkered around -- he was a month early, remember? And, hey, I was going to be induced, I wasn't IN labor. What was the hurry? I wasn't packed. I had no diapers and furthermore, I was hungry.

His dad got home before I was finished and was like, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?" Ha ha. I basically told him everything in the prior paragraph. He was kind of freaking out and I wanted to stop at Meijer's to get somethign to eat (I was told they never feed you in the hospital until after your kiddo was born.)

Together we drove to Kettering Hospital. I was in a room right outside of the nurse's station and was hooked up on pitocin. We were watching movies to pass the time. Apparently being induced when your body really isn't ready takes a long time. When they'd hear me laugh, they'd come in and crank up the pitocin. Eventually they realized nothing was happening that night so I was given a sedative to sleep and woke up the next morning... Ultimately the next day it was time and when it came (after obtaining that life-saving epidural), I pushed for 30 minutes and he was born.

He was so tiny. He was beautiful. We both cried. It has been decided by me that he was (is and continues to be) a miracle. Why? When he was born he not only had a knot in his cord but also had the cord wrapped around his neck a time or two. LIke I said, a miracle indeed.

Josh's Birth Day">

And now, I know not what to think about the fact that he's eleven. As a mom there are days you can't WAIT for them to grow up but once they start, there's no looking back (as much as we really want to.) So we have eleven.... then the teenage years.... then driving... high school... then college... wow, my little boy is turning INTO... a young man.

This is the kid who as a tot would wave his hands in the air as if he were driving an invisible motorcycle when he was hungry. Once you'd place him in his high chair he'd devour whatever you were feeding him. His first real food (besides the cereals) were peas but his favorites were carrots and sweet potatoes. He ate so many carrots and sweet potatoes that his nose, ears and such got a tinge of orange. Don't laugh, I have photos to prove it! He demanded being rocked to sleep nightly which meant that once you stopped rocking, you better be ready for him to cry and for you to start all over again. If you chose not to, and tried the "cry it out" method, he would get SO upset, he would throw up everywhere. Which then meant you were changing sheets, lights on, changing him, wiping carpet, it was a mess. Shortly thereafter, I realized it was NOT worth it and alas, he was rocked to sleep. Sometimes cradled in my arms, sometimes wrapped in a quilt.

This is the boy who, at the age of 6, knew already that he wasn't the kind to bully or hurt people's feelings intentionally. It's something that is still a defining character trait of his. He genuinely cares about doing the right thing. It's a blessing and a curse that he seeks approval for most everything he does.

He never realized how tiny he really was until recently he found his first pair of shoes that I still keep (I don't want to hear about emotional clutter) and then this very morning, I put little Benji in one fo the onesies that Joshua used to wear. Man alive, he's size 14 now.

Did I mention the fact that he's lost FIVE teeth in three weeks...and I know that he doesn't want to grow up, either, becuase he's saving them to put in his tooth fairy pillow. The child KNOWS that I am the tooth fairy. He smiles because he wants to keep the fantasy alive not only for himself...but also for his little brother, Drew. But, I never thought you were supposed to lose teeth at this rate? Seriously, they're freakin' falling out of the kid's head. EWwwww!

He is an amazing young man who loves sweets. He lives for biscuits and gravy with sausage in the morning. He is a people pleaser who lives to make people happy. For lunch, he loves to make a "snack" lunch which basically consists of little things like -- apples/peanut butter, yogurt, gold fish, something else and a drink.

He's capable of making his own breakfast and loves to make scrambled eggs. He lives to play with his friends. His best friends at the present time are Bailey, Thomas, CJ and Shane. This year marked his venture into tackle football. While I don't feel he has the necessary aggression to truly rock in the world of football, the fact remains that he likes it and so I will support him wanting to continue. In fact, we're lucky that his new school HAS his two passions: guitar and football.

I have a young man with a thirst for knowledge... a thirst for going to church (he loves it). Someone who has been given some unfortunate situations in life (divorced parents) but his ability to see what circumstances are his fault. He is just now learning to comprehend that his voice matters. Truly something major for him to grasp in his 11 short years on this earth.

He knows how to show incredible restraint with frustration and anger when he's the victim of his younger brother. He doesn't understand why people would lie, cheat, steal and intentionally hurt one another. He loves animals and nature and is a Webelos II scout. He loves to draw, play guitar and listen to classic rock. He is a typical kid in that, if allowed, he'd fondle the remote control all day while in his pajamas.

He and I grew closer than we ever were while homeschooling these past two years. This coming year, I know that I'll miss it. I know that he'll grow academically, mentally, emotionally and socially, however, at Fort Worth Christian and I just pray that it's a successful transition for us both.

While the post isn't timely (it's over a month late because I've been wanting to add photos to it), the feelings in my heart for this little man remain true and I think they just continue to grow even moreso than he does. Did I mention he's almost as tall as I am... at eleven? Say it isn't so!

Here is a little stroll down memory lane of the 11 years... so far... birthday by birthday (sans #2 since that was before digital photos and I haven't scrapped it (yet))!

Birth day
Josh's Birth Day">

4th birthday
Josh 4th birthday">

5th birthday
Josh's 5th birthday">

6th birthday
Josh's 6th birthday">

7th birthday
Josh 7th Birthday">

8th birthday
Josh 8th birthday">

9th birthday
Josh 9 years">

10th birthday
10 year birthday">

11th birthday
Josh 11 years">

Sigh... eleven... Happy Birthday Joshua! Mommy loves you to infinity... and beyond!

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