Tuesday, December 3, 2013


“A first child is your own best foot forward, and how you do cheer those little feet as they strike out.
You examine every turn of flesh for precocity, and crow it to the world.
But the last one: the baby who trails their scent like a flag of surrender through your life when there will be no more coming after--oh, that' s love by a different name.”
-Barbara Kingsolver

Ben turned 14 on Sunday.

The last couple of years have been really tough on Ben, he's had a hard time adjusting to the physical and hormonal medley that is the bedrock of the teen years.

From birth, he has never really been 'one of three', sliding in line behind the other two and following a similar flow. He was born being his own person.

His own person, yes, but still Baby Brother.

He has a unique relationship with each of his siblings, with Jake, they are SO close at times and without any warning, they will explode and be SO mad at one another.  There's long been a vein of competition, Ben unwilling to let something as minuscule as a full 4-year age difference get in the way of trying to be faster or stronger.

He's totally different with Chandler.  She was such a Jr. Mama that he has grown up going to her or me, we are interchangeable in his mind. She has made a pet of him, they are so sweet together, not once have I ever seen her even mildly irritated at him.

Camping in North Carolina

Camping at Tellico Plains

Hurricane Creek

The yard

Big Meadows, VA

Wildflower Trail

Ft. Bluff

North River 

TVA Nature Trail



Highest point in Mississippi

Oakland Island

He really did just grow up overnight right here between 10 and 11
I didn't skip a year or two.

Hatteras Island
Wildlife Refuge

St. Augustine

Clear Creek

My lovely boy, such a soft heart and thorny disposition.  

I have edited this last bit, after more thought:

I am not sure how other people view their own 'baby', it seems mothers feel it's mandatory to love their children and by repeating it enough, they feel their duty done.  It's rote and habit.

I feel differently about all three of the kids; they are all three such different people.  To slap a meter on them until I love them exactly the same would be a disservice to the adults they are and are becoming.  No one loves more than one thing at the same exact level.  This seems to be taboo to admit.  I am pretty open about it.  Ben is my baby, the cherry on top, the surprise, the unplanned, the addition we never even considered.  Jake is so strong and confident, Chan is full of fire and independence.  Ben is my baby one, and for so long that was enough to make him precious.  He's growing into quite the smart young man, very sweet natured and quiet, yet so funny and at times extroverted beyond even what Jake is capable of.

I admire them so much, they are amazing.  They know this, that I feel there is nothing beyond them, nothing they can't accomplish and that I don't actually want them to ever leave home to do all this amazing world-conquering.  In fact, I'd like it if their friends would move in as well.

So my birthday wish for Ben is that he remains himself, his own glorious mess of hormones and angst and wild hairs, until he finds his way through it all, no matter if it does not happen right away.  That with the friends and family he has around him and the experiences he collects along the way that he can relax within himself and make his way toward being happier and more confident as he realizes how truly beautiful and spectacular he is, inside and out.

I think Neil Gaiman has said it best, I will end with his quote:

“I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn't exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.” 

About Me

Unschooling mama from the start with 2014, 2016 and 2018 graduation dates. I enjoy camping, reading, swimming, hiking and photography.