Thursday, April 12, 2007

When They Said “Come Down,” I Threw Up

Lyrics have never been more applicable to a person. As you near the big 0-5, let’s talk about your “Growin’ Up.”

You were the most unexpected of the never-planned-for lot. Our evenly balanced little family of four who had grown and learned together suddenly had to reinvent itself. We had to make room for another. For The Other. For You.

None of us had it easy, especially you. Although you might hear some very emphatic insistence from others that they had it roughest, don’t believe them. We each had already found our place in the family when you came around. You were the one who had to push his way – from the side, from above, from the outside – into the center.

And push you did. Even before you were of earth, you were elbowing and kicking your way into our lives. And when you did finally show up, 10-pounder that you were, you took aim and peed on three different doctors and nurses before they could weigh you, a harbinger of times to come. A crier. An up-chucker. A stress puker. “Crying boy,” they called you, the others.

You took no comfort in anything that eased the others before you. Plug-plug? Phooey on that. Car ride? Double-phooey on that. Dancing and singing to Bruce? Triple-phooey on that. You exhausted me. You exhausted us all.

I am overly fond of saying to anyone who will listen, “He’s our last child. He’d be our last whether he was born first or third.” I call you “Lukifer,” even in church. I call you “Demon spawn.” In return, you seem to take great glee in my answer to your question of who will live the longest. “You, Luke,” I say. “Who will die first,” you want to know. “First, Dad, then me, then Ryan, then Sam, then you,” I say. “So I’ll live the longest, right?” “Yes,” I say. “Good,” you say.

Your first year of life was so exhausting. I no longer have to hold you or touch you to make you calm, if not necessarily happy. We’re passed that first stage, but you still exhaust me. You exhaust us all. You try my patience. You push my buttons. You know that, in my heart, I must believe in corporal punishment, and you want to see it in action. You know that, in my mind, the most vile curses want to come free from their constraints. You want to hear those in action.

* * * * * * * * * *

You are brilliant. You are of me through-and-through. You of all of them look like me. You of all of them have the evil streak that comes from me. You of all of them have my snappy replies, my sarcasm, my dark wit.

You are my son. You are my love. You are strong. You are stubborn. You say, “Duh,” with the same condescension as I use. You roll your eyes at idiocy.

* * * * * * * * * *
At night, when you want to go to sleep, I am the only one who will suffice. Not Daddy, whom you adore and follow around wherever he goes. Me. And so it has been for exactly five years come Sunday.

You are our Taxing Baby. You are our Tax Day Baby. And you are growin’ up. Thanks for taking us along for the ride. Please remember to buckle up.

[Be it ever so humble, my entry to Scribbit’s April write-away contest.]

[What’s with the title? Check out Bruce Springsteen’s lyrics to Growin’ Up.]


Anonymous said...

You are a FANTASTIC writer! I love your blog. I love your kids. I love your husband. But, I love you most.

Anonymous said...

What a great story. Thanks for sharing.

Primadonnared said...

That was great! And he's finally 5! Yea!!
Oh, and I believe I owe you a Happy belated Birthday as well! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! And thanks for another good story! :)


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