by shadymama

on the day of his fourth birthday party, my son had breakfast with his other family, and their family, and alla the generations splayed across the restaurant like a breathtaking family vine, and it was good.  and the puppies that are cousins and bruddas and friends screeched and wiggled with mouths full and eyes happy at their Very Own table, and it was beyond good.  delicious, i’d say.  after goodbyes were said and hugs and kisses proffered, the child, that almost four child, demanded to make cheese pie, with extra sugar, and thus it was done, because birth days – even birthday party days – are sacred in our home and bossiness is welcomed, if not encouraged.  sugar stirred, cheese pie “wiff stwawbewwies, mama, not wiffout” baked, shorts on, tennis shoes tied, we were off to the yellow park by the river for friends and play and cheese pie in the breeze.

if i had to describe my son’s immediate community, his village, if you will, in one breath, i would call it, undoubtedly,

Varied and Sure.


on the eve of his fourth birthday, at midnight, as he slept, my son’s giggles lit up the air around him and i wondered if he was dreaming of being born and how hilarious existence can be.


on the Very Early Morning of his fourth birthday, my son awoke to muted grey light seeping through the walls of a rickety tent and said, sleepily and sweet, “am i four today?”  the three of us, fuzzy and blinking adults after a night of freezing temperatures and a snoring and cackling almost-4 year old child, chirped merrily “you are!  you are!” and promptly burst into song.

happy birthday to you.

happy birthday to you.

happy birthday, our darling,

cuz we love you, we do.

that child, that four year old giant of a child, with his somehow warm feet the size of my hand – my hand! – snuggled into my neck and breathed, “mama?  i wike being four.”  we sent our brave campsite orchestrator out into a morning so cold you could see yer breath, could feel the freezing air glissade through yer lungs on every inhale, with orders to stoke the fire and start somebody’s Super Special Birthday Breakfast (!) before the three of us remaining would even think of leaving our sleeping bags.

thank god for campsite orchestrators.

a few snuggles and stinky kid breaths later, the campfire was stoked, breakfast was cooked and served (local apple cinnamon bacon!  eggs cooked in local apple cinnamon bacon grease!  pancakes and syrup with Many Many More than Four candles on top!), rousing renditions of the “birffday song” were sung, and as i watched this kiddo, with his chipmunk cheeks fulla pancake and his eyes full of delight, i am gripped.

my child is four and i am so glad he is here.