Wednesday, May 15, 2013

hey, jude

Hey, Jude.

Jude River. 

He's turning eight today. His wiggly baby teeth give way to giant Chiclet teeth that seem too big for his face. Freckles jostle for space every time he goes out in the sun. His hair is thick and dark, as it promised to be when he was a newborn. Those eyes...grey-green, ringed by black lashes. He winks back at me and my heart squeezes, imagining the loves he'll find in his life thanks to those eyes. 

His legs grow more quickly than I can find jeans to fit him and I am thankful that the season for shorts has arrived. He dresses in his own quirky way: tweed caps, cowboy boots, knitted sweaters, neckties. He plays with Bionicles for hours, making battle sounds. He takes a long time to figure out how to play games, but loves to play anyway. He loves to be outside, sword fighting and bike-riding and tree-climbing. He wants to be a farmer or a ninja or a step-dancer or a soldier when he grows up.

He loves to dance. We sing Gangnam Style phonetically now, and know all the moves. He makes up new routines and shows me his creative moves daily. He draws complex pictures that he needs to explain to me, aliens and deep-sea kings, guardian warriors and robots. They're full of movement and sound and his pencil can hardly keep up with his ideas.

He sets up cohorts of tiny Roman soldiers, lies on his tummy so that he can have them at eye level, and I know in his mind that he marches off to conquer with them. His body never stops moving: headstands, somersaults, playful kicks in the butt, cuddles. He likes to read now, although he was a late-bloomer. He takes pride in helping me with his little sisters by reading to them, getting them a snack, or holding the baby. He laughs his head off when I pretend that Norah is kung-fu-kicking him in the face, or when I do baby-voice overs as she gnaws on his robots (I AM A GIANT BABY. I WILL DEFEAT YOUR ROBOT ARMY WITH MY POISONOUS DROOL!)

He tells me the truth about everything. He confesses immediately if he gets in trouble at school, and owns up to the quirky things he does even though we've told him a million times (since he was two) not to: turning up the thermostat, or squirting window cleaner all over the place). He hates time-outs and getting in trouble, and is just starting to get the concept of impulse control. When I do send him to his room, he lowers angry notes down through our heat-vent, tied to a string ("Be Quite, Mom"). I bite my lip so I don't laugh.

He's a great traveller, and eats anything we feed him. He brings his gluten-and-dairy-free food with him to birthday parties and never complains that he eats different stuff from his friends. He cries at the sad parts of movies, and hides his eyes during the scary parts. He occasionally wonders why he's the only one in his class without a Wii/DS/i-pod but accepts our family values. He has no concept of time or money. He wishes he could go on a sail boat, an airplane, in the ocean. I promise him that someday, he will.

He loves to spend time alone with me, his made-up jokes make no sense, and he is the joy of my heart.

I tell him that I always hoped I'd have a son just like him, that he is the fulfillment of a dream I held for many years. He looks just as I imagined a son of mine would. Sometimes I don't get him, but I got him. He's mine, for a little while at least, and I surely am grateful that he is.

Happy Birthday, Jude River!


  1. and a very precious grandson.You have captured his personality so perfectly,I just love him.What a beautiful nanny

  2. I am undone. The photos did it first and then I read your words. Oh- I do love this boy, too, and you described him beautifully with so much love. Kiss that freckled face today for me and tell him we'll call him after dinner.

  3. Happy birthday to Jude and happy anniversary of his birthing day to you! May his next trip around the sun be his best yet!

  4. Happy Birthday, dear Jude! Hope all of your sisters help you celebrate today! 8 is a great year...

  5. I love reading the absolute joy you take in your children's individualities and eccentricities ;) Happy birthday, small man!

  6. Saw this on CTV noon last week. Hope the little man can have peanuts:

    Gluten free, Diary free icecream
    Four FROZEN bananas
    2 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder (I used Fry's)
    2 tablespoon peanut butter
    Whirl together in the blender and eat immediately.
    I a'lovin' it!

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  7. Thank you for sharing this joy, this celebration, and please extend my warmest birthday wishes from the depths of the 'interwebs'

  8. He sounds a treasure and woulld be great friends eldest who is 7 they sound alike. Happy birthday :+)

  9. Happy Birthday!!! Hope he has an amazing day!

  10. Happy birthday Jude! Hope you have a wonderful day!

  11. Happy Birthday Judey Boodey!! Hope your day is as awesome as you are!!! xo

  12. Now that is a perfect tribute to an 8 year old boy! It brought tears to my eyes as I thought of my own wee boy (well not so wee anymore - 6 1/2 years) and how much fun he is and how amazing children are. Wishing him a very, very happy birthday and wishing you all the best!

  13. Happy Eighth Birthday Young Man, you are growing so strong and sure. Hope this year is the best one so far !~!

  14. Awwww, I think I just fell in love with him. Sweet post for a sweet boy. Lucky mama :)

  15. Happy belated birthday, beautiful Jude!

    Stephanie, your description of your son, of your love, is incredible. Splendid.


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