So, what does a decade do?

Well, here’s a photo from ten years ago, right about now:

That small, red-faced fellow was, well, small and red-faced, and a few hours old. And his dad could finally hold him too.

There were these massive thunderstorms promised and flood warnings and all kinds of things, and my mother made it in a few hours later, right before lots and lots of flights were cancelled. The boy was born at home in the middle of the night, after less than 3 hours of actual labor; ever the all-or-nothing kid.

The manchild’s grandpa Ed came too, briefly, a little later, and sat with us doing what he always did…

(he’s spinning silk)

There were massive thunderstorms, and floods, like I said… and in the back patio, the calla lilies bloomed. Calla lilies always make me think of the boy being born, now.

Soooo tiny. Even tiny feet.

Now, his feet are the same size as mine, which means I’m permanently out of socks, because he steals mine and then wears them outside with no shoes and ruins them. His shoes — which can generally be found with ease by tripping over them on the stairs — are the same size I’ve always had to buy my Chuck Taylors in.

He stands to my shoulder. He is 2.82 times taller than he was 10 years ago today, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but when it’s the difference between “20.5 inches” and “4 feet 10 inches,” it’s a lot.

He is like his mother, and his father. He reads all the time, is stubborn beyond belief, obsessive about his interests, and cannot imagine why other people don’t share his passions; perhaps if they were just told more about them? He’s outgoing to a fault like his mother, but at times, like his dad, he’s his own best company. He’s too smart for his own good, and he has no clue when to shut up. I’m no help there at all.

Happy birthday, kiddo. I’m super proud of you.

24 thoughts on “So, what does a decade do?

  1. Boy, this post really resonated with me! My son is also ten, and also wears the same size Chuck Taylors as me. In fact, I asked him to not trash his Uggs so I can have them when he grows out of them! Your son is a beautiful boy. Happy birthday to both of you.

  2. happy birthday to the man-child!

    and as he continues to grow, you’ll get your socks and Chuck Taylors back.

  3. Happy B-day to a fine young lad-
    Abby, I really enjoy reading your blog. I’ve been interested in Peruvian weaving since I took a backstrap workshop in the late 1970’s from Suzanne Baizerman from Minneapolis. My youngest son (now 20) went to Peru…I had asked him to bring back fibery stuff and photos….when he came back he was like, “Oh, mom, you do that stuff already and yours is way better…..” – NOT! But he did bring back a gorgeous alpaca sweater and great photos of Macchu Picchu.

  4. Hi, I just read your story on Juno’s blog and I’m absolutely knocked over by the chance you have to start reading and talking about books again with your son, and on his birthday. What a wonderful gift the universe has given you, and what a wonderful book to have be the agent. I read back through the entries about Nilda and your family and your time in Peru. Your father must have been an amazing man. All good wishes to you and yours.

  5. My youngest Manchild turns 10 on Friday! 10 years does go by with a blink of an eye.

    Happy Birthday!

  6. Ten year old boys are THE BEST. Get used to the borrowing. All through high school my son borrowed my socks, long sleeved T’s, long johns–if it looked unisex he used it. (he’s thin and only 4 inches taller than me) When he went off to college all my socks mysteriously disappeared. And when he came home on break, all my replacement socks disappeared too. I’m wearing his outgrown winter jacket. Love my boy.

  7. Just wait – you’ll turn around one day and overnight he will be taller than you! And you’ll be planning a spring break road trip to visit places like Harvard and Morehouse. And you’ll wonder how the last 17 years went by so fast and how you can bear to let him go, even though you know you have to.

    Enjoy every moment! And happy birthday to the kid!

  8. Happy Birthday and wishing you many more! I also wish that you never, ever forget what it is like to be 10.

    Abby, a while ago, you posted a pic of him on a riding mower, I think it was. The look on his face! My heart said “this is special.”

  9. Hi,Happy Birthday to your son
    Belated.
    Sons are wonderful.
    And you sure are brave .A Home birth.

  10. Hi, a little bit late, but also wishing many happy returns of the day… And, my daughter is exactly 3 weeks older than your son 🙂

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