My first baby boy is 10 years old today.
Entering the Land of Double Digits is always a big deal. I don't remember much about my birthdays growing up, but I remember when I was 10.
I specifically requested to have "Terrific Ten" written on my birthday cake. It was a sheet cake with a porcelain figurine of a girl with a cute 1950's blonde ponytail, red sweater and pedal pushers talking on the phone, twirling the cord.
Boy, does that date me. Both the calling of capri's "Pedal Pushers" (because no one used the word capri's back then) and a phone with a cord.
My Atticus is the sweetest boy on the planet. Go ahead and make gagging noises and roll your eyes-- I don't care. I love this kid so much it hurts.
This is my boy who one day, when I walked down stairs, made up and dressed to the nines, he fell backwards onto the floor, put his hand over his heart, and struggled halfway up. "You . . .are. . . so. . .beautiful," he stammered out, before dropping back to the floor, "you killed me."
I LOVE this kid.
From the moment he literally dropped into this world. Literally. . . I had an epidural, and less than 40 minutes later, there he was. After 2 pushes the doctor told me to stop because his cord was around his neck. So I stopped. "No pushing!" he reiterated." "I'm NOT!" I hollered back.
Then, plunk. Right into his hands. Out plopped Atticus, ready for the world.
He was born with this huge mop of crazy, jet black hair that stuck straight up and out and everywhere.
He had a huge belly laugh, and some of my most intense memories involve looking down at his face while nursing, his crazy happy eyes shining at me, milk all over his chubby cheeks. I'd smile and he'd belly laugh so hard he'd get the hiccups.
As always, our family celebrates birthdays with Birthday Cake for Breakfast.
I always make a from-scratch cake (seriously, by now you all know my from-scratch soapbox: For the love of all things holy, make from-scratch cakes. They are easy and delicious and generally 7 ingredients or less, all of which you probably have in your cupboards. Boxed mixes are tasteless and full of scary-ass chemicals and should be BANNED.)
I suck at decorating, but I try and make a cake inspired by an interest of the child at that moment in time.
And you know what? It doesn't suck that I am bad at decorating.
My first few cakes I felt ashamed and didn't want people to see them. Especially when there are so many awesome cake decorators out there, and they all put their cakes on FB. I felt silly putting my lop-sided, homemade cakes up there next to theirs.
But you know what I realized? Kids don't care. To a child, all cakes are MAGICAL. They don't know if it looks like Mom made it or Martha Stewart's staff. To them, it's their birthday, it's about them, it's special and wonderful.
This year, I made a Chinese Checkers Cake for Atticus. The Checkers were made from gumballs, so the kids feel they doubly scored (cake for now! gum for later!)
Atticus is a pretty cerebral kid- he loves puzzles and games, facts and figures. To him, history is SO alive. He can envision lands and people and battles. He can hear languages in his head and somehow he categorizes timelines and events naturally, simply. It's pretty awesome.
I am so happy that we have chosen to homeschool him. He's not a huge kid, and he has a gentle heart. I worry that maybe he'd be picked on, or that he would chose to just go under the radar so as to not attract attention. I'm glad that he's been home where he can grow and thrive and be a kid without worrying about anything.
And grow into his own he has. This year he was moved up in dance and skipped an entire dance line. He was invited to be in the Intensive Ballet program, which is a pretty cool deal. He tried out for and made the Green Bay Youth Symphony. He stepped out of his comfort zone and picked up a new summer sport this year-- baseball. And while at first it was really apparent that his parents never taught him or played the game with him (shame on us, I know), he has worked so hard, living and breathing baseball, and he's improved tremendously.
Happy, Happy Birthday my boy. I can't wait to see what the next 10 years brings you.