November 19, 2008

11 years of celebrating Mason & Eric

This is a post of a reflecting mom, lacking pictures & may be a long & boring read.

Mason & Eric turned eleven years old this week.
I've been thinking about that first significant November 15th in our lives, and the variety of those that have followed.

Chilly as it seems it was this year, it was colder and snowier on the day they were born.
Like this year, it was a Saturday. We'd found out on Thursday that we were expecting two babies, not one, amidst a hefty snow storm.  I was snowed in to let the idea sink in on Friday, and to my surprise, woke up to find myself about to be a mom on Sat.
To Mitch's surprise, too.
It was hunting season. (Fate brought this avid hunter 3 sons born during the primetime of the hunt, and birthdays to celebrate during the season each year since.)
Anyway, he was hunting that Saturday morning, and I awoke in labor.

He'd told me before he left that if I needed anything to just honk the car horn and he'd hear me.
So I trooped my huge self (soon to be three of us) out into the cold, in labor, and wearing a pair of Mitch's boots (my feet were too swollen to get anything else on), & honked & honked. Eventually I called my sister who lived close by, and she came & honked.

There was a flurry of rushing to find things as she helped me pack a hospital bag.  We were just 33 weeks along, and not prepared yet for this day.
I called the hospital, they were prepping for the delivery of twins, and said to "come fast!"
When Mitch walked up and I heard him shoveling snow off the steps, I wondered why on earth he was shoveling in a moment like this, and opened the door to ask him just that.

Apparently he hadn't heard the honking, he'd just happened to come home, and that moment on the step with a shovel in his hands when he learned I was in labor is exactly why I remember so well the snow that day.  It's a picture framed in my memory forever.  He actually didn't beleive us at first, it took some convincing that we weren't kidding, that we'd been honking, and that we needed to hurry!
We walked into the hospital around noon.
Mason entered the world at 2:30 that afternoon weighing 4 pounds 13 ounces. 
Eric followed just 12 minutes later at 2:42 weighing 5 pounds 1 ounce.

Their first birthday.  I gave it my all to give it to them!

There is much more I remember about the rest of that day, and the following days, weeks, & months. Someday perhaps I'll write it all down for them, some of it I have.
But today I'm remembering birthdays, each November 15th since we've had these two lives to celebrate.

The day they turned one year old we moved into our nearly-completed house and it snowed again.
I remember it was dark and there were big heavy snowflakes covering our furniture as we moved everything that night.
The boys enjoyed their little cakes - I don't remember when I made them amidst the moving, or how they got here to our house, but they did. Two little baseball cakes moved with us along with everything else that snowy eve.
Moving into our new home was a wonderful 1st birthday gift, and celebrating their first year was a memorable way to begin turning our house into a home.

The morning they turned two, I woke up to the sun shining on them on the kitchen table together playing in my plants. They were the sweetest, most mischevious little pair of two-year-olds.

Eric had been in intensive care just a couple of wks. before their 2nd birthday for some of the scariest times I've had as a mom. But there they were, both the picture of health again together on the table, turning two & living up toddlerhood to the hilt. We were thankful.

On their 3rd birthday they showed their visitors how they could name the faces of the American presidents: "George, John Adams, John Quincy, Jackson, Abe, Harrison, John Tyler, Chester Arthur, Polk, Pierce, Van Buren, Johnson, Grant, Cleveland, Garfield, Teddy, Taft, Kennedy, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush.."  It was really something!!

The day they turned four was beautiful outside, short sleeves & ladybug weather.
Days seemed slower then, we had so much time to talk and tinker away our time together, and it was a perfect day to talk about the clouds rolling by.
They were establishing differences as they turned four... For their party Eric chose chocolate icecream, and Mason went with "McNilla." This was the year of my homemeade fish pinatas & lots of camouflage.

The day of their fifth birthday they'd just become big brothers one week before. 
We were settling in and keeping warm with our new baby.
They were as proud as any brothers can be.  Johnathan was a very special birthday present.

When they turned six there were firetruck birthday cakes. We hosted kindergarteners and it was cold enough for them to all play hockey on an already frozen pond.  One pal threw up that year. (For some reason no one ever forgets when someone throws up at an event.)

Their seventh birthday was the wildest of parties that I recall with their friends.
During these early school years I picked the kids up from the bus a mile or two away from home. I remember literally piling kids into our vehicle, & a mountain of backpacks & jackets laying by our front door.

For their eighth birthday we had a hidden treasure hunt in the woods on a dry & sunny afternoon.  Mitch & Uncle Billy posed as obstacles in the path of the hidden treasure.  Getting really into their roles, they jumped out of the bushes wearing masks and were nearly clubbed down by 8 year olds armed with sticks.

The 9th & 10th birthday parties became slightly more civilized. The era of Power Rangers & Spider Man had passed.  But there were times when I wondered if the boys' tree fort could safely hold so many kids at once.
I remember it was chilly when they turned ten, but the ground was still free of snow. There was an organized game of kick ball in our yard after school.

This year turning eleven years old, when asked anything in the world that they wanted to do, they just wanted to rent a couple of good movies, have a friend sleep over, & eat pizza. So that is what they did, and they had icecream & brownies with 22 total candles on top.

They've changed over the years is so many ways, as growing boys do.
The November 15th that they were born, their Dad had been hunting.
This year on that date they went hunting.

They're boasting to be pre-teenagers, looking forward to getting braces put on their teeth very soon.
Changing, yes.
But some things stay the same.
They remain some of the easiest kids on earth to please.
Friends, family, pizza & sweets, & they are happy birthday boys.
Topped with some traditional late night wrestle-mania.


  1. Not a boring read at all! And a big reminder of how fast kids really do grow up! That picture is so cute, don't tell them, but they still look just like that!

  2. forget being famous, we could DEFINITELY be friends:) loved LOVED your last comment on my blog. forget being long-winded, i love it up! keep em coming my friend. it's fun to "get to know you" that way!!

    your kids are GORGEOUS! and one girl and the rest boys....i can relate as you know!!


  3. Yep, I agree with Tracey, they're just as cute as ever! It's been an eventful 11 years, hmm?

  4. Yes - I remember the 1st. Loading the truck and moving in the snow! I think there was discussion about cancelling the birthday party until the next day, because the boys wouldn't know - but you vetoed that. Where did you get those cakes? You've always been amazing!

  5. That's such a wonderful photo - they were so cute and good looking!

  6. I remember finding out you were having twins while we were at Target and just being in awe. Happy Birthday Eric & Mason!