Sunday, June 9, 2013

Happy Birthday Professor Charles

Friends, it has happened. My baby turned two.

The night before his birthday I ducked into his room to put some clean clothes away while he was having his nightly story time with Daddy, and I ended up leaving the pile on the floor and sitting down next to them on the ottoman.

I couldn't bring myself to leave.

 All I could think about was that the next time I saw him, he would already be two years old.

The words were like weights hanging from my neck.

Two years have passed since my water broke during 60 Minutes and Greg and I threw a few things in a suitcase and took off down the highway, so excited and scared.

Two years have passed since I watched, amazed, as I was told this baby I'd carried for nine months was a boy, and he was placed on a scale and sized up by the world for the first time.

Two years have passed since they tucked his little head into a blue cotton cap and hollered, "Does he have a name?"

Two years since I called out "Yes!" from across the room. "His name is Charlie." Oh, Charlie! What a perfect name! the nurses said. Oh, it suits him, they said.

Two years have passed since my mom and sister, who had gone to the hospital cafeteria in search of a snack, returned to find me holding my baby boy.

It's been two years since they cleaned us all up, bundled me into a wheelchair, handed me my baby, and took us to our new room. Two years since, at 3:00 in the morning, I could have heard a pin drop, the hospital was so quiet. We couldn't take the elevator we were supposed to take because it was stuck, so the nurse had to take me a roundabout way to the recovery wing. As we swished through the quiet halls, we just stared at each other, my boy and I. I peeled back the blanket and peeked at his tiny wrinkled hands, his ten little pink fingers. We passed people heading to less joyous events and they stopped us, every one of them. They wanted to see him, to see the new life nestled in the blue and white cotton. I didn't care that he was only two hours old and they were germ-carrying strangers. I didn't ask if their hands were clean. I was just so proud of him. So overcome with joy. "Oh, God bless him!" one sweet old woman exclaimed as she peeked at his little face from her own wheelchair.

How has it already been two years since that night?

It's been two years since Chloe met him...

...since his bros met him...

...since Grammy met him

...since Jamesy met him

... since Pop met him.


My dad calls him Professor Charles because Charlie reminds him of one of those funny old professors puttering about a college campus, swinging a beat-up briefcase as his crazy hair blows in the wind.

The nickname suits him. He's such a great kid. So funny and unique. He loves being a big boy and won't sit in a high chair or eat with a baby spoon. He wrestles with his brothers and chases down kids twice his size in the nursery if they try to abscond with his toy. He smiles and waves at strangers and loves his Pop and his Daddy more than ice cream. He calls his sis "Coco" and his brother Max "Mangus." He eats his meals faster than anyone else in the family and then cleans all our plates too. He's determined and sweet-spirited. He loves to read. He loves to dance.

He has made our lives rich these past two years, and we simply delight in him.

Happy Birthday Chilly. We think you've hung the moon.

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