On this day, thirteen years ago, I had been in a hospital bed since the previous night and still had hours to go before the forced arrival of my firstborn. That's right. Today I am officially the mother of a teenager. And he is every bit as stubborn today (times 100) as he was at the time of his birth, only much bigger in size. He's just about reached my height (I give him another month or two) and those tiny little baby feet I once kissed and cooed over have long since grown to fill big man-sized kicks.
There are many things we butt heads over. Stubborn doesn't fall too far from the tree, if you know what I'm saying. But even on the worst of days, the ones when it takes every ounce of willpower I have not to pounce on him and tackle him to the ground for his smart mouth, I love him with all the mighty fierceness only a mother's love knows.
So here, in honor of his thirteenth birthday, are 13 of my favorite Devin stories...
1. He saw a catfish up close before a cat apparently because on his first up close encounter with a kitty cat, he said, "Wook! He's got whiskas! Just wike a catfish!"
2. He never crawled. Instead he slid around on his belly like a snake, wearing out all his onesies. I was beginning to get a little concerned but my worries were put to rest when he took his first steps at 13 months.
3. After seeing the ultrasound of his baby brother, he was convinced he was going to be a turtle.
4. He wanted to wear a hat or baseball cap every day of the week until he was around 9 years old.
5. His first sentence was spoken around 10 months of age though it took us awhile to figure out what he was saying which was, "Who is that?", only it came out sounding more like "Whoisdat?" He would say it repeatedly when in the presence of someone new. And usually through the pacifier he was almost always sucking on.
6. After his dad died, and then one of our two beloved little Dachshunds nine months later, he got up one morning to tell me he had seen them...He said his dad was wearing a robe, holding Dexter Dog and smiling down at him from above his bed.
7. When I was dating Charlie he really put him through the wringer. One day when he was over and we were sitting in the living room, Devin (all of 7 or 8 years old) went out the front door to play in the yard with Dracen but before the storm door closed all the way, he popped his head back through, looked at Charlie, took two fingers that he directed at his own eyes and then at Charlie and said, "I'm watching YOU!"
8. Once Charlie was accepted he and Dracen wanted him to give them piggyback rides to bed every night, only they called them "piggyride backs".
9. When he was around 3 or 4, and otherwise shy and quiet around people he didn't know well, he went through a stage where he'd pull out his toy gun when someone came over to the house and say, "Git ya hands up"!
10. We used to have a bedtime ritual that went something like this...
"Goodnight. I love you."
I wuv you more.
"No, I love you more."
No, I wuv you more. But just for the night.
And the next night I got to love him more.
11. When he was a little guy he was very tight with his money. Once when my dad aka Pawpaw Paul was visiting from Georgia, he was getting ready to head back home and teased Devin by telling him he didn't have gas money to get home and asked him if he could borrow five dollars. He hesitated at first, then told him he could but that he'd have to pay him back a hundred.
12. As a toddler I took him to work with me in our florist every day. When we got there each morning I'd tie a helium balloon around his wrist so I could always see where he was in the shop. At the end of each day he wanted to let the balloon go and insisted on standing there to watch it until it was completely out of sight before agreeing to get into the car.
13. When he was potty training he wouldn't poop in the toilet until Darin played guitar and sang the special song he wrote for the occasion. We called it "The Poop Song".... Devin's on the potty...He don't wanna be there...Poop...Poop...Poop! Worked every time.
Happy 13th, Devin!