It All Started With This

7 years ago that was us. Today is Trysten’s birthday. My baby, my firstborn, the first who called me “mom”.

Someone tell me how this one,

became this one.

How these two,

became these three.


7 years ago, this boy,

made the rest of these people possible.

Really, it’s unexplainable how that was 7 years ago. It’s also unexplainable why I ever let myself acquire those cheeks and cut my hair in this particular fashion.

The day started with us letting Trysten sleep in a bit, skip the bus and help me pick out special birthday donuts. We went to Casey’s General Store where the manager, upon hearing it was his birthday, gave us a dozen donuts for free. Already prone to sappiness on a day like today, I would’ve cried if not for Trysten’s gloriously happy face looking up at me.

After taking him to school and teaching one of my classes, myself and my two littlest ran to my sister’s house to make the brownies Trysten requested for school. Well, I’m not a baker. Zach’s the baker, I’m the cook. On top of that little fact, Kara’s oven was totally different than mine and it took forever to make the darn brownies. So, with 20 minutes remaining in the school day, I delivered these pretty things.

I’m sure you’ll be shocked to hear the kids thought they were the best brownies they’ve ever tasted (I too am a fan of what we like to call “batter brownies”, not “baked brownies”). When Trysten delivered one to his teacher he gave a nice chuckle before devouring it, I felt vindicated somehow. There were a few minutes left so Trysten asked Tariku to play with him and his friends, Tariku obliged with glee.

Quick naps then a jaunt to Chuck E Cheese (truly, my version of hell on earth) to make the birthday boy happy. No party, just my kids and my nephews.

Finally, we stopped off at an ice cream shop. This is how Trysten likes to bide his time before his ice cream (Oreo) arrives.

I’m exhausted. If I weren’t, I’d be able to tell you more about this 7-year-old that steals hearts as soon as he meets them. This boy that hugs so tightly and so well it’s as if he just can’t get close enough to you. This boy that wasn’t afraid to give his mom a kiss in the middle of a busy hall in elementary school. This boy whose personality most mirrors my own. We like to know there’s a good chance of success before entering into something. We like to be hanging out with friends and family but secretly need more alone time than we like to admit. We’d do anything for anyone but also have moments of pure selfishness.

He and I have lots of “inside jokes”. When I want to tell him I love him but we’re in a place where we shouldn’t be talking (church) I’ll grab his hand and squeeze 3 times, “I love you”. He smiles and my heart sings.

Tonight I thanked him for making me a mommy, this job that I love so much and take so seriously. This exhausting, fulfilling, beautiful “job”. This gift, I do not take for granted.

I closed his door almost 2 hours ago and am now on my third “ugly cry”.

Because no one deserves a mom constantly on her A game more than my 7-year-old. I fall short of that every day.

But every night he hugs me and when I go to leave his room he grabs my hand and squeezes three times, “I love you”.

8 thoughts on “It All Started With This

  1. Happy Birthday, Trysten!!Get used to those ugly cry moments. My "baby" turned 16 this past November, and it doesn't get any easier. If anything, it seems to have gotten harder for me, because every year older he gets, the farther away from that 'baby' he gets. (Plus, it's another year older that I am!!)

  2. Sweet! Sweet! There's something about the 1st one isn't there? My oldest.. who is 20 now… is my Z… My own special guy. :o) Happy Birthday sweet Trysten.And hey at least you had cute short hair, I had BIG hair…lol

  3. What a precious precious child (as all children are). What a beautiful baby. And I would be remiss not to say Wow to Zach's hair. Thank you for this lovely post, especially admitting that you are not the perfect mother. Who is? There are a lot of "I'm sorrys coming out of this mouth," on a regular basis.

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