Friday, September 20, 2013


When I first became a parent (a milestone in itself), it was all milestones all the time. If you've been a parent or known a parent, you know what I mean. You start with the first time the baby sleeps for more than three hours in a row. (Is he breathing?) Then his first smile. The first time he rolls over. The first time he sits up. The first time he crawls. Eats solid food. Says his first word. Walks. 

I think moms and dads need those milestones the way they come, in rapid succession, in order to keep us putting one foot in front of the other. It helps break up the exhausting job of caring for a baby into manageable stretches.

Eventually the milestones get farther apart. First day of preschool. First day of kindergarten. Lost teeth. First day of all-day school. The significant events trickle down to almost nothing before they pick up again in the pre-teen and teenage years, when they are fewer but bigger.

All that to say, we are in the lull years right now. So the closest thing we have to a milestone is that Nels is ten years old today. First time double digits! Not earthshaking, but not nothing.

In Nels's third grade class last year, each student got to be the "star" for a week. On one day of that week they were to bring in something written by their parent for the teacher to read to the class. It could be a letter to the student, or a funny anecdote about him, a poem, or a fictional story featuring him. I know Nels would have liked for me to share a funny story, but I couldn't think of anything (believe it or not.) He would have loved to star in a made-up story, but I waited too long to start and ran out of time. I settled on writing a poem. It rhymes only because Nels would not have considered it a legitimate poem if it didn't.

I'm sharing the poem here because all of these things are still true of Nels on his tenth birthday. And we just couldn't be prouder of him or love him more.

His eyes are blue,
His heart is true,
He uses big words
When small words would do.

He plans and he builds,
He invents and he schemes.
At bedtime he imagines new worlds;
Then he dreams.

His memory's grand--
His dancing's great too.
To perform for a crowd
Is his dream-come-true.

Nels is silly and goofy;
He jokes and he plays.
He loves to ride airplanes.
He reads books every day.

He cares about fairness
And doing what's right.
In our little family,
His life is a light.

His eyes are blue,
His heart is true.
We love our Nels so;
Most surely we do.


Unknown said...

Happy Birthday to Nels. Ten is a great age. They have mastered boyhood by now. I love the way you know to savor the sweetness of it all.

Dick Martin said...

Happy Birthday, Nels. Grandma and I are very proud of you too. Your mom's poem says a great deal about your character and that is the thing we are most thankful to God for.

Mullins said...

Happy Birthday, Nels! We like you, too.

Veronica said... many much heart