Happy Birthday Saint James. Eleven.

santibroodingWoah. Eleven! When I look at him, I can totally believe he’s eleven. He looks eleven. What I can’t believe is my eyes, when I look at him. I also can’t believe my hand when he holds it. His hand is suddenly bigger, almost as big as mine. How many times do I have to let go for a moment to measure his fingers up against my own, clasping it again with a sigh. Not bigger than mine. Yet.

This big boy of mine – joyous, independent, curious, complicated and sweet – just keeps getting better. I failed to consider that this would happen. As certain things are lost to the past (wobbly first steps, chubby legs, toothless smiles, baby voices) other things, better things if that’s even possible, are taking their place. A sense of humor, an increasingly complex inner life, a point of view, his own personal taste. There is nothing better on earth than sharing a laugh – a true laugh – with your kid. He’s beyond only laughing at what’s HA HA funny and has a quick eye for the absurd, for the things are funny, but not in an obvious way.

On the threshold of middle school, Saint James is becoming a person with depth and ideas and a way of looking at things that is uniquely his. He’s getting moody and broody, like there’s much more going on than meets the eye. He’s quietly confident, rarely rattled by anything or anyone. What does he know that I don’t? As much as I thought I’d be panicking about this headlong jump in to big boyhood, I have to say that I am fascinated by the way he’s changing on the inside. And hey, I like this kid. Not just love, like. Here’s the litmus test: if we were the same age in college, say, would we have been friends? You tell me. A smart cutie with an easy laugh, a big heart and the confidence to pull off (and he does pull them off) hot pink shades? We would have been thick as thieves.

Happy Birthday, Saint James! I love you, sweetness. But you know that.shades

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