It's not hard to remember Evan's debut on December 18, 2006, having arrived three weeks early on the last projectile vomit of his Mama's 48-hour stomach flu. He was pried from his warm watery cocoon and sent down the chute like he was on a the slide at Splash Mountain.
That's still how he makes an entrance. All force - arms and legs, noses and knees colliding in hugs, jumps, dives and spasms of love.
We have a thing we do - he and me - each night when we tuck, kiss, pray, hug, and enfold one another in arms and squeezes and snugglebunnies to say goodnight. I whisper, pushing my mouth closely to his ear, "I love you and you love me and that's the way it's going to be." He giggles, crinkles his nose, and says, "Yes! Datsaway gunna be!"
Raising well-behaved kids is hard and constant work. And I don't yet know what the outcome will be. The well-behaved part is a finish line that's always just up ahead. I yearn for the wisdom to discipline effectively. To that end, I've read enough parenting manuals and child training books to sit on a panel of some sort.
I'll keep reading all the materials I can get my hands on, but this much I already know: you can't be a good parent without having great kids. And I got me some.
Today I celebrate my GREAT (big!) boy.
Happy birthday, Man Cub!