Our son Teddy turns nine today. His birthday is the culmination of a series of surprises, that include (but are not limited to):
Becoming a dad at forty, when my entire life had been spent in service to myself, not others.
The surreal experience of my bride and I being sent home with a live human being in our red Mustang, and wondering, “What the hell do we do now?”
Discovering that, for the first few months, he didn’t do very much; sort of like an exceptionally cute inchworm with toes.
Watching him grow. Alarmingly fast. Like, “Your four year old will need you to help him shave soon.” That kind of fast. Missy is very tall. I am tall. We’re all tall. Teddy is really tall. He’s five feet tall, with no end in sight.
Learning that kids tend to run around naked. A lot.
Finding out that due dates for babies are a “serving suggestion”, as he arrived six weeks early, when I had the entire bathroom ripped out and our toilet sitting over a crawlspace. It had quite the frontier feel, but with 85% more possums and raccoons.
Watching him develop a love for kittens and puppies as naturally as if it were his calling.
Seeing the first time he told a joke, and it was funny.
Holding hands with him as we walk, and wondering if I will ever be more needed (or happy) in my life than in that moment.
Seeing his mother in him, as well as his grandmother, and me, and a line of wonderful people who all comprise part of him; but knowing that he is utterly unique.
Wondering who he will become, but also fearing the passage of time.
Standing quietly in the kitchen with my wife, talking about him in hushed tones because he amazes us.
Feeling my purpose realized, fully and with complete joy, and being thankful that I get to see him grow.
Happy birthday, Teddy. You are the best thing under the sun. We love you.
My bride and I brought a relatively normal sized infant into the world. He’s growing at an alarming rate, due in part to the height on both sides of the family. Missy comes from a long line of Vikings. I come from a long line of angry American mutts- all quite tall. It’s a genetic match made in heaven if your goal in life is to produce a child who will never need a stepladder to change light bulbs. This is the boy:
The Post-Apocalyptic landscape is our backyard in the glory of “Spring”, a mythical season that’s actually just a period of mud followed by storm warnings, hail, and then the heat of summer. The boy is lounging, being tall. That’s what he does.
We Had A Birthday Party. He turned seven. We ate a lot of birthday food, had fun, and rode around in a train that we hired for the afternoon. It was delightful. Here we are in our Official Land’s End Camouflage. We like stripes:
It was held at my Mother-in-Law‘s home; she has more room and less barking dogs. Her backyard is adjacent to a pasture, where there are friendly horses and a donkey whom we’ve known for more than a decade. This is the donkey:
I must confess: I don’t know a lot of donkeys, but this guy seems to be an absolute gem. He’s not stubborn at all. He’s friendly, fuzzy, generally cheerful, and seems to be willing to charge across any amount of open pasture to answer my bride’s call. She is. . . the Donkey Whisperer. Don’t get me wrong; all animals love her. But this donkey obeys, and he gives the impression of tail-wagging, even though that’s more a dog thing.
He’s besotted with her. Me too, but I get to live inside. And wear pants.
There are an array of horses, too– quite friendly, a bit quirky, as horses are, and fun for the son to feed.
Handsome fellow. Again, I confess to not knowing a great deal about horses unless they are French War Horses, or some other variety used throughout the Middle Ages/Renaissance. That’s more my area, but these guys are dandy. They put the frosting on the party, so to speak.
That concludes the farm report. New audiobook is out this week, it’s fantastic (Thank you Rebecca Cook!). All three current books are chugging along beautifully. I’ve got a zombie short story on Amazon, too– fun for a quick read. Find everything here: Terry’s Dragons and Zombies and Critters. Oh my. If you like audiobooks and want a review copy, let me know. I’ve got a few to give away.