Wednesday, May 28, 2008

You're a Good Man, Hudson James

My little boy is growing up. I suppose it’s something I’m going to have to accept. Somehow Hudson has dashed into boyhood right before our eyes. His kindergarten year is coming to an end, and Hudson will move into the ever-ascending numerical grades that promise to pass as quickly as they came. How many people have told me, “Just wait til they’re in school, then the years really speed by.”
Well, I don’t want the years to speed by. I want to capture photographs and memories in my mind’s eye of this little chocolatey-brown-eyed, snuggly, skinny, sensitive six-year-old and keep ever before me the privilege of being his mommy and living in the same home with him. As Corbin often says, Hudson might be too cool a kid to have us as parents.
I’ve always told Hudson he’s my sunshine, singing that well-loved song to him since his infancy. Something about his lovey-touchy nature and sincere grin, he totally lights up my heart.
I love hearing Hudson pray.
I love hearing him say “yes sir” and “yes m’am” every time he responds to Corbin and me (even when we wake him in the middle of the night... "Yes sir, Daddy? I'm sleep walking?").
I love that nearly every sentence he utters is followed by, “Right, Bran?”
I love that when Basden finds a treasure in the backyard - an especially colorful leaf or a uniquely jagged rock - she runs to show her nature-loving big brother.

What will we remember about his kindergarten year?
- Legos, legos, legos.
- Receiving a sticker for good behavior at school every day. Every day. If there’s an empty day on the calendar in his folder, either he wasn’t at school or Mrs. Tucker didn’t pass out stickers that day.
- Our family cheering from the sidelines at Hud’s soccer, basketball, and baseball games. After school and on weekends he shadowed Branson on skateboards in our driveway. A few months ago he raced me down Angel Fire’s powdery blue slopes - and won - for the second year in a row. I continue to be surprised by Hud’s natural athletic ability and courage.
- Getting to know a great little group of boys at school. Fun to see him initiate and develop friendships. But it warmed my heart a few weeks ago when he told me that he will always have three best friends: Bran, Basden and Essie.
- Breathing treatments.
- Thursday boys and red caps. Hudson was so proud of his red cap that I've found him asleep in it.
- Getting braces as a kindergartner. With every visit to the orthodontist, his classmates anxiously await Hud’s return to see if this is the visit where he’ll actually get the braces. So far they’ve been disappointed. Waiting through dental cleanings, spacers, and now an expander (ugh), it’ll be summer before Hud actually gets the brackets. In light of all the work on his mouth, our already picky eater often says “I can’t eat that (insert healthy food) because of my expaanduh.”
- Rushing to Basden and Esther’s cries for help - Hudson usually gets to them before I do, with the bonus of much more sympathy than Mommy offers
- Holds a deep love for animals, especially the small, furry types he can cuddle in his arms.
- Cooks scrambled eggs all by himself, start to finish. Enjoys being in the kitchen and initiates cooking with me.
- We're continuing to see Hud's laid-back personality peppered with a competitive drive. This “focus” surfaces in sports, but also in attempting to read Branson’s books.
- Have I mentioned sensitive? One thing we get to work on with Hudson is that as a family we’re all on the same team. That means that even when Corbin or I say something out of frustration or simply correct him, he’s not allowed to run and hide. We’ve found him lying under a lumpy pile of pillows in the sunroom or swirled up like a cinnamon roll in the living room curtains. He is slowly learning that we correct him because we love him. We’re trying to (patiently) teach Hudson that while it’s ok to feel angry with us or a sibling, he needs to express it with words and not running and hiding.
You're a good man, Hudson James. I see evidence of your growing up all around me. Just yesterday you told me that you really want to visit Jerusalem and Iraq. Okay. That was followed by, "Mom, how will I know who to marry? How do I make her fall in love with me?"
I'll say again if it's the right girl you won't have to make her fall in love with you. And that I'll be happy to fight off all the others before her.
We love you, Hud, you are a GIFT to us!