Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Declan is 11!

Oh, how about me? Bad mother, not posting on her son's birthday. I'm trying to remember what we did that I didn't post. We had Declan's birthday party and then I cooked him a special birthday dinner. That's what it was.

It's weird to start thinking back to when I was Declan's age. You know how you don't remember tons about your early life, but I vividly remember being Declan's age--11 in 5th grade. My 5th grade teacher was one of my all-time favorites: Jerry Wilson (he died of a heart attack at a pretty young age--in his 50s, which seems VERY young these days). We went to Washington DC on Spring Break (and got in a car accident). We got a dog. My best friends at school were Anne and Paula. I spent every day I could at the barn riding horses. A woman in our neighborhood had horses/ponies and she would take us out there to ride. We cleaned stalls in exchange for fees sometimes.

I wonder what Declan will remember? Will it be skiing? Hockey? Trips? Watching the Amazing Race or Biggest Loser together? Just being cozy in the house? I fear playing Wii will probably rank up there.

When Declan was born, everyone talked about how it goes so fast. It does. Of course it does. Not always when you're in it though--dealing with teething, a stomach virus, or whatever.

Other than some sleep issues when he was about 6 months old, Declan was a really easy baby. He was curious and pretty quiet. He liked to observe. He's still a little cautious--picking his way down the ski slope (vs. Finn who comes down like a B52 bomber). Isn't it funny how the very core of us doesn't really change over time?

But time does go fast and I think I'm realizing more and more. He rides his bike to friends' houses now instead of me taking him. He enjoys reading to himself at bedtime now. He's definitely asserting himself in other areas of life. He has had a little romance already (I KNOW--5th grade, what the heck!?!?!).

In less time than he has already been on this Earth, he will be leaving for college. That statistic is shocking to me.

When Declan was about 6 weeks old, we were at Theresa and Skylar's house and we went out for a walk, pushing Declan in the stroller. Of course I was still all new mom-ish and hormonal and stuff, and Theresa's boys, Eamon and Jeremiah, were about 19 and 22, I think. One in college, one graduated. It was inconceivable to me and I said as much to Theresa.

"How can you stand to let them go?" I asked.

And she replied, "I think Skylar and I knew from the beginning that as much as we love them, our job is about preparing them to leave."

Stab, stab, stab at my heart.

But she's right. And I want to make sure that I enjoy every last second of this "preparing to leave phase" of this adorable boy.

Happy Birthday, Declan (just a few days late)!


Elizabeth said...

What a sweet, sweet post Natalie. Brings tears to my eyes. You were meant to be their Mom.

Leeann said...

You made me boo-hoo with this post, Natalie! Declan just seems like such a fine young man.

And the letting go thing? Intellectually I know it but my heart just refuses to get on board.

Lisa said...

Happy Birthday, Declan! Thanks for leading us down memory lane, Natalie! It's been a wonderful journey to watch our boys grow and change!

JennyOnTheBucks said...

I agree with your friend. When Katie left for college, I had this sense that my job was largely done. She was pretty well "formed" at that time and there was little I could do about it. Now she graduates college in 6 weeks! I wish I had your gift with words back when my girls were young.

1dreamr said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Declan! Beautiful post, Natalie... (and the cake looks delicious!)