This is how I find him on the morning of his thirteenth birthday. It could have just as easily been a shot of him playing with a ball, any ball. I think he loves sports as much as he loves music. But this morning, he couldn't resist the new stack of songbooks from his favorite musicals that his sisters gave him as a birthday gift. Though I'm sure that later on today, despite the rain, I will see him outside with a ball of some sort.
It's hard for me to believe that I have a 13 year old boy, now. The fact sounds scary, but the reality is wonderful, absolutely wonderful. He is so much fun, so full of life. Always joking. Kind to his siblings. In so many of his mannerisms, he reminds me of my side of the family- two of my cousins, Steve and David, and so, so much, of what I imagine my dad was like as a boy. The way he picks up a new sport in about five minutes flat, while his sisters and I have to consciously not let ourselves duck when a ball is thrown in our direction. The cheeky, mischievous grin that really means no harm. The love of being outside, working on some piece of equipment or coaxing something wonderful to grow.
However, in many ways he is so similar to my husband, especially in his love for logic and the ability to grasp a new concept the moment the basic elements have been explained to him.
Anyone who visits our house and meets Gideon will also meet Pepper at the same time, because our/his German Shepherd is never more than a few feet from his side. How many hours has she spent lying at his feet under the piano? I couldn't begin to count them.
Today, Gideon and I are going to make homemade pretzels together, at his request. Tomorrow, friends are coming over for a sleepover. It's birthday season around here, with Evie turning ten next Saturday , Jude turning seven in May, Cate turning seventeen last month. Spring is always full of parties and celebrations. But what is more special than celebrating the lives of those who make me the happiest person in the world?