Several weeks ago, Luke and I went together to the Halloween costume store, just the two of us. I had a coupon for something like $5 off a ridiculously-overpriced piece-of-junk or something like that, and the coupon wasn’t scanning correctly for some reason. It was a small hassle, but the cashier, a young man dressed as a wizard, was pleasant and diligent and figured out what was going wrong, and got it to work.

As Luke and I walked out, he called after us, “Have a great night! Thanks for coming in!”

And as Luke buckled up in the car, sporting his new police officer sunglasses (in the dark), he commented, “That guy at the register was really nice.”

It was a fact: he was. But what got me was that I wasn’t trying to make a lesson out of the nice young cashier’s behavior and Luke noticed anyway AND commented on it. It was one of those moments that hit you in the gut and you realize wow, your kid is growing up.

Speaking of growing up: this weekend, Luke cooked, yes COOKED, his brothers their lunch while I decorated Christmas cookies. He was pretty proud of himself as I talked him through the instructions on the blue box of Mac and Cheese, the standard that was likely the first thing I ever learned to cook on my own. Nana would have been so proud to see this day, Luke:).

This birthday kinda makes me panic because it means he’s almost in double digits. And he’s halfway to leaving for college. Oh my gosh, seriously. I can’t breathe.

For his birthday, he requested Steak-n-Shake for dinner, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t try to talk him into another idea. But really, it was a good night, and he loved it, and that’s all that matters.

he got to open one gift before dinner so he had time to play with it: a new wii game. love the genuinely excited reaction from both of them!

milkshakes are a good substitute for birthday cakes.

new lego set, $1 garage sale purchase of a parachuting guy + paper airplanes (shhh...he doesn't know that), and the shel silverstein book "where the sidewalk ends." if you could go back to st. anthony grade school and look at the library checkout cards, my name would be on this book dozens of times. i checked it out incessantly for years as an early elementary student. i'm so happy we own a copy now πŸ™‚

Luke, tonight, as you said your prayers before bed, you prayed that this year not go by too quickly, and that nine would be a good year for you. So sweet, and I couldn’t agree more.


30 responses to “Nine.

  1. Lucas’ 9th birthday was by far the hardest on me yet. 1/2 done with him! I wanted to say, “Wait! I need to start over.” lol! Happy b-day to your Luke… and how great is that first picture?

  2. How sweet that he commented on the cashier! Would have shocked me too! Two alarming things: (1) You tried to talk him out of S ‘n S???? and (2) “halfway to college”–how depressing!!!!!

    I just love this boy and can’t believe I’ve been Nana Jo for 9 years!! πŸ™‚

    • hahaha…I know, I know…but his other choice was apparently El Maguey, which I would have preferred PLUS they make a big deal out of birthdays. Oh well πŸ™‚ It was a great day!

  3. We have that book too! Was it Mrs.Balcer that used to read it to us everyday? I got it from a preschool book order for Kayt when she was like 4 bc I had such fond memories of it. They grow up so fast! It’s awesome that you blog to get all the memories written down!

    • I didn’t have Mrs. Balcer for homeroom, so I’m not specifically remembering her reading it aloud, but I remember wishing SO much that we owned it when I was a kid!

  4. It doesn’t seem possible that he could be nine.

  5. Can’t believe that he’s just getting a copy of that. Excellent book! I have the cd that has Shel reading a handful of them – also fantastic! I can burn a copy if you’d like. Korry’s daycare reads to them out of ‘Sidewalk’ and I love that she’s getting the experience. Half way to college is such a sad thought! Enjoy your 9 yr old!

  6. I love your birthday posts!!! That is by far my favorite pic of Luke ever!!! Also love the pic of him and B excited about the Wii game πŸ™‚ Um, awesome work with the $1 garage sale find!

  7. Happy birthday, Luke!

    (I love that he’s figured out how to achieve a natural-looking smile. These are some very good pics of him!)

  8. Aw, Happy Birthday Luke. Half way to college…..Andrew turned 8 in october and I thought geesh he’s half way to getting his license. NO!!!! πŸ™‚ I want them to stay babies forever. Well, little kids maybe πŸ™‚ He’s such a great kid, you should be proud of yourself πŸ™‚

  9. Wow. He looks older! And I have an amazingly similar story as the party city one! Maturing can have its obstacles, but it’s also awesome! I’m so glad we’re experiencing it together!

  10. Happy Birthday to your 9 year old! I thought about my son being half way to high school at 7 and half way to driving at 8. I know that 9 in May will be just as hard on me. Thanks for helping me feel normal πŸ™‚ I am glad I am not the only one that thinks that it just goes by too fast.

  11. So beautiful. Happy birthday sweet boy.. You have one amazing mama!

  12. Crazy – I was going to say he looks so much older already! Isn’t it wierd….and reeeeeeeallllly sad calculating how quickly they will be entering college 😦 Happy Birthday, Luke!

  13. Happy Birthday to your big boy!

  14. Belated Happy Birthday to a handsome boy! And Boyd (the St. Louis boy) says no 9 year old in their right mind would want to go anywhere else but Steak n’ Shake for a birthday, because the milkshakes rock. πŸ™‚

  15. Beautiful post, incredible photo of Luke, Nicole! He is growing up into a fine young man. No doubt he makes and will continue to make his mama proud. Happy Birthday indeed!

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