Category Archives: bennett

Eleven.

It seems the last birthday post that Luke got was when he turned 11. That is not intended to be a hard-and-fast rule, but since Bennett turns 11 tomorrow, I decided I’d hop on here and record a little something.

11 years ago right at this very moment, I was starving. I was one of those pregnant women that gained every bit of the healthy amount of weight suggested by doctors, and I did so generally via carbs and cheese, and as was the case with Bennett’s pregnancy, jalapenos. I ate so many jalapenos while pregnant with him, and I’ve mentioned on multiple occasions that I think it’s possible it contributed to his spicy personality.

I digress. My point was, at this moment 11 years ago, I was hours and hours into waiting on L&D to call me to come to the hospital to begin the induction/evacuation plan for baby boy #2. Already a mom, and a boymom at that, I anticipated more work around our house for sure, but I guess I kinda thought I’d just be redoing what I’d already done during Luke’s first 2 years.

 

blonde from birth! and just tiny.

 
I could not have been more wrong. While Luke is definitely the guinea-pig kid that Matt and I go through things with first, and get to figure out some semblance of whether we liked our decision-making before the other 2 boys get there, Bennett’s personality is so different that from the beginning, parenting him was just not the same experience repeated.

 

this is just SO BENNETT.

 
And I’m so thankful for that.

Not long ago I posted about him, and mentioned that he’s the best kind of adventure. And it really is such a good description…he’s intense and funny, fiery and unafraid, persistent and a hard worker, with a laugh that you can’t help but join when you hear it. (OK…that’s not always true. Sometimes I hear it in conjunction with his brothers flipping out, so I know he’s up to no good, and then my Loud Mom Voice comes out instead of a laugh.) He still adores his baby cousins (of which there is a new one, Alice, born 2 days ago).

I can’t really write anything that I haven’t already said about him in years past on his birthday posts, but I can say that his sense of humor is developing further and it is wicked hilarious. This past year he’s worked even harder at being fit (I’m talking one-armed pull-ups) and honing his basketball and baseball skills, and while it doesn’t really surprise me, seeing him be so dedicated is fun. I’m seeing glimpses of amazing leadership potential that I hope by gently pointing out, he will take to heart and embrace.

 

first game of the season last weekend.

 
He’s joining Luke at the middle school next year…he’s a big kid now. And speaking of that, he’s going through a growth spurt and can put away a SHOCKING amount of food for someone his size.

 

middle school tour night

 
Looking forward to celebrating his birthday the only way we know how, which is with a lot of baseball games and a postponed celebration.

Love you, B.

Dear Bennett’s Future Wife,

A few weeks ago, I caught him like this.


He had accidentally smashed part of a cracker on the floor, and he cleaned it up himself. Without me asking him to.

I just want you to know that I worked hard to instill something like this in him, and it appears that it may have at least partially sunk in. I’m not celebrating just yet, but I want you to know that he knows this.

He’s the best kind of adventure, this one. Prepare yourself, whoever you are. I’m already praying for you.

Love,

His mom

School. Day 2. 

#fightingoverthebathroom #punchesthrown #areyouserious
#morefightingoverbreakfast #noteven7am #whereismycoffee
#parentingissuchadelight #somedaythiswillbefunny #butreallyonthecoffee

He Scares Me a Little. 

I called all three boys into the kitchen to help me make supper tonight. I don’t know why, because that generally sounds like torture, but it seemed like a good idea.

I immediately assigned Luke to the sauté pan for fajita vegetables, and had Jack Henry and Bennett help me chop and mash ingredients for guacamole. For once, everyone was actually really helpful.

We finished making the guacamole, and Bennett asked if I was going to use the rest of the lime for anything. I said no, and turned around to the sink to find him doing this:

he juiced almost half a lime straight into his mouth

Um. I feel like he’s the kind of kid who’s going to have good party tricks in college. And I. Am. Terrified.

In related news, the University of Illinois was ranked the top party school in the nation last week, which means I’m no longer excited about the fact that all of the boys want to go there. We have seriously put so much effort into making these little Missouri residents Illini fans, and now this…

🙂

Three Solutions

I’m going to try to ease myself back into writing here, hopefully regularly after the boys are back in school (which is in 9 days. I can’t even believe it.). I have two trips to recap, but here’s a little story from our last weekend trip that illustrates the boys’ different personalities.

We spent the weekend at Lake Delavan in Wisconsin with Matt’s entire family. The old lake cottage was lifted off its foundation last fall, a basement poured, and the house put back. It’s still under construction, but all 16 of us were able to stay there! The boys stayed in the basement in a bunk room, and there’s a bathroom down there now, too.

And since they’re old enough to just take care of themselves, I didn’t interfere with the showering process at all.

We all bring our own towels when we stay at the cottage, and it occurred to me on the drive back to STL yesterday that I had never given the boys their bath towels after we got there. (Of course, no one asked if there were any. Typical.)

I knew that they had all showered at least once, so I asked, “Uh, what did you do to dry off?”

Luke: “I just dripped dry.”

Bennett: “I used my beach towel. There was some sand, but I didn’t care.”

Jack Henry: “I just used the towel hanging closest to the shower.” (My apologies to whomever else was drying off with that towel.)

I won’t over-analyze this, but honestly, their solutions fit their personalities so perfectly it’s hilarious.

Ten.

You guys. As of {1:50, but who’s counting} this morning, I have two kids in double digits. Yep. Bennett is 10!

aww…dimples instead of knuckles…my favorite toddler feature!

I went back to last year’s birthday post to see what I’d written, and this stood out, because it’s just so true.

Birthdays now bring about a sense of urgency in me…there’s still so much I want him to know, and the years to learn those things are just flying by. And when I get reflective about Bennett and who he is and what it’s like to parent him, I get kinda weepy…I don’t know, I just love him so much, and parenting him has been challenging beyond what I envisioned and made me grow and stretch and I’m thankful for that…

Truly, I am frequently at a loss when it comes to understanding this kid. Part of me knows that when we butt heads it’s because we are so alike…he is me in so many ways, and not all of them are my favorite. The other part of me just flat out doesn’t get him and his intensity. Or maybe I’m jealous of it?

Bennett knows what he wants, and he is willing to do the work to get there. Whether it’s with his schoolwork (he’s had an incredible year, after my fears over the summer) or doing push-ups every day or baseball, he commits himself to getting the job done. With baseball I already feel like I have to walk this fine line between being supportive of his dream and making sure he understands the reality of how hard it is to become a MLB player.

He announced this evening that he plans to go to college for two years, then “have a career in baseball, ” and then return to college to finish after his playing days are over. Jack Henry did not mince words, letting him know that his plan was not the smartest and that he should just finish school first. 🙂

i mean i know i’m his mom and all, but he was a really, really cute baby 🙂

All I know is this: as his mom, I get a front-row seat in watching who he becomes (and yes, clearly, lots of guidance), and while I absolutely do not want the years to move any quicker, I kinda can’t wait to see what he does with his life.

Love you, B.

First Broken Bone (maybe)

This is how Bennett looks as of Monday afternoon.

IMG_3756.JPG

That’s a maybe-broken pinky finger. On the child that, if I was a betting person, I’d have picked hands-down to have the first broken bone in our family. But let’s back this story up.

Saturday, 9am

I had taken Jack Henry out to Chesterfield for his baseball game, and Matt, the two older boys, and his parents were at our house (planning to leave for Luke’s game at 9:15ish). Luke and Bennett went out for a neighborhood scooter ride, as they often do.

I got a text from Matt letting me know that there had been a scooter accident, and that Bennett was pretty banged up, but that he’d taken care of it. I asked for details.

IMG_3761.PNG

“Apparently speed was important.”?? Uh, yeah. 1. Don’t you remember what it was like to be a boy on a bike/scooter on a hill? 2. Have you met our child?
—–

The rest of Saturday and Sunday, Bennett was obviously still feeling some discomfort from his injuries, and our focus was on his swollen pinky finger. He couldn’t bend it all the way, and it just didn’t look quite right.

So on Monday morning, I took him to see our school nurse, who took one look at it and said she thought it should be x-rayed. I called our insurance company, talked to a few friends, and decided on Urgent Care for x-rays, knowing that I’d take him to an orthopedist to have it set if it was broken, but hoping they’d say no, it’s not broken, and we’d go along our merry way.

I didn’t anticipate what actually happened: an inconclusive result. Between Bennett’s strange finger shape (his pinkies are bowed, which means one of the bones is atypical) and a weird divot-that-is-possibly-a-break in that misshapen bone, the doc wasn’t sure. So he splinted it and told us to see an orthopedist in a week.

Sigh.

We’re speeding up that timeline and seeing a specialist tomorrow. Will update 🙂

IMG_3760.JPG

UPDATE: NOT broken, much to Bennett’s chagrin! We saw an orthopedist who took one look at our UC x-rays and was able to determine that his bone is misshapen and that divot is a rudimentary growth plate, not a break. Hooray!