Seventeen Years ago today … 2


Happy birthday, not-so-little-boy

Didn’t Leah just write a blog like that? you’re asking. Yup, my two boys’ birthdays are exactly one week (and six years) apart. Well, except on Leap Years. *blushes* I forgot it was leap year and wished him Happy Birthday yesterday. Whoops!

It was seventeen years ago today … well, actually it was seventeen years ago yesterday that I told Gizmo Guy that he’d better get me to the hospital. Fast. Which naturally caused some panic because we’d had a major ice storm and the car was covered with an inch and a half of ice that took GG about 45 minutes to pound off the windshield. In the meantime I had phoned my parents – who had agreed to look after six-year-old Guitar Hero for me – to discover they couldn’t even get out of their driveway for all the ice. (They live 45 minutes away and in a snow belt area, so their weather’s always worse than ours.) So GG took Guitar Hero over to our neighbors who had also offered to take care of GH ‘just in case’. Only to discover they were in the middle of a screaming battle and was told ‘this isn’t a very good time’. By this time, my labor pains, which at eight p.m had been “I think I might be in labor? I’ve had a couple of really light twinges” by this point at 9 p.m. were “oh my God, get me to a hospital, I have to push, damn it!”

Luckily enough my sister who was leaving her job at the funeral home at 10:00 picked Guitar Hero up for us and kept him overnight. We made it to the hospital at10:30 finally, and our youngest son didn’t arrive quite as quick as I was expecting. After having a fourteen hour hellish labor with Guitar Hero, our youngest son arrived at 12:07 a.m., after only four hours of labor.

While Guitar Hero has found a nickname that’s stuck on this blog, our youngest son hasn’t. I think in a couple posts I called him Curly and usually just call him YS (as in youngest son) now. (Any suggestions are welcome.) But these pictures tell why I called him Curly. I LOVE his hair – when it gets a bit longer, it goes into Shirley-Temple-like ringlets. It was the most gorgeous head of hair I’d ever seen. He definitely didn’t get it from I-pay-big-money-for-waves-let-alone-curls me. Of course, being a boy he hates it and constantly tries to straighten it, just like his Dad.

This is one of my favorite pictures of him – he was three years old and running over bales of hay at an apple orchard that fall. I love the absolute pure joy in his face.

That’s a picture of my three men at Burleigh Falls in 1993. See the laughter on YS’s face? He always found such joy in everything he did. (Hmm, I just noticed I’m using a lot of past tense when I’m talking about that. Phooey on life for making him so serious the way he is now.)

He lost a lot of the laughter when he went to school. We discovered he had a learning disability, and it took me years of advocacy to get the school to listen – and I was a teacher, for pete’s sake! Eventually the only way we could help him was to move and change his school. We were all relieved at the new school to find a much more supportive teaching staff who knew just how to help him – and he shot to the top of the class in some of his marks.


This is us in front of the White House in Washington DC in August 2003. (He’s the one on the left beneath that big floppy hat). Now take a look at how tall he is compared to us just three years later:



That’s us on the way to Lake Louise in Banff National Park in the top picture, and in the bottom picture, beside Gizmo Guy overlooking the town of Banff in 2006. He towers over both of us. Gizmo Guy is six foot tall, by the way. And YS has grown at least another inch since then! (Add in his thick crop of hair, and he’s about 6’4″ and towers over all of us.) Needless to say, we’ve had to stop calling him his usual nickname of Munchkin, or Munch. A nickname I’m sure he’s very happy to lose.

This is him all dressed up in a tux for a concert at his school Christmas 2007 (doesn’t he look thrilled at having his picture taken?) YS has a real musical gift – he played violin for six years, absolutely amazing tone-deaf-me with his ability to just pick up any song he heard by ear and play it. Four years ago, he switched from the violin to the flute. And in the past few months, since Guitar Hero has decided to learn to play a real guitar, he’s trying his hand at that too – and doing better than Guitar Hero from what I hear.

In all honesty, YS is better at the game Guitar Hero than Guitar Hero is. They tell me that YS is in the top thousand players in the world. I guess that’s an accomplishment? Now if he’d just apply the same dedication he does to the game to his studies, and he’d have a PhD in no time.


2 thoughts on “Seventeen Years ago today …

  • Julia Smith

    Happy Birthday, Curly! I’ll go for that one, too – I love those curls. Your childbirth story sounds like a great scene from a chick lit-style comedy. Funnier to read than live through, I imagine.

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