Thursday, November 10, 2016

There is no other Hudda

When I began this blog more than ten years ago, I wrote all of the kids birthday letters. Like many things I do, it was hit or miss at best. So over the years as I've printed this blog out in the form of books, Hudson has searched the November portions of the books only to find a measly book review or two falling around his birthday.

Poor Hud.
For missing all those birthday posts, I'm sorry. It's certainly not because I've got a lack of words to describe you.

In fact, looking through my "draft" posts (of which there are plenty), I found some treasures never published.

So... HERE IS YOUR 15th BIRTHDAY POST!! I did it!! Backtracking to those drafts, just for memories' sake, and for this momma they're worth remembering. 

A few memories of our 6-year-old Hud:

- Auntie Paulette asked you to make her a Christmas list so she could buy you exactly what you wanted. Instead, you tried to think of things she might want ~ a trip to New Mexico? Disneyland? After exhausting the possibilities, you climbed up in my lap and cried when you couldn't think of something specific for her. And as for your gift list, "Mom, I just don't want her to waste her money on toys for me, when there are so many other important things to buy."

- Closely examining the two tech decks (skateboards) for which one you liked more ~ then promptly putting the "best" one in a box for a friend to take to the hospital

- Patient ~ and truly interested ~ in playing PetShop with Basden

- Finding your yellow "I love you mom" post-it notes on my desk

- Reading The Bear That Heard Crying and your comment, "Mom, I'd rather die searching for Sarah in those woods all day than just to sit by and give up looking for her."
Yes, I know you would, Hud.

- Generous with many things, but not with one-on-one time with me or dad. If Basden, Essie or Bran try to forge in on our one-on-one time, you become rather territorial.

- We never know who we're going to wake up to ~ is it the happy, quick-to-get-dressed, excited for school Hudson? Or the grumpy, say-anything-to-me-and-I'll-bite-your-head-off Hud? Just never know.

- Watching you read to Basden and Esther

- Finding you assembling Star Wars lego ships on our bed ~ away from the chaos of everyone downstairs

- Your intensity on any field ~ baseball, football, or the basketball court. Not just physically, but you've got your head in the game. You pay attention and know exactly what's going on all around you.

- Your flexibility and willingness to go with the flow: "Can I be Anakin for Halloween since we already have a costume?"

- my Sunshine.
You still kind of sleep like this, too

You two

A few memories of our 7-year-old Hud:

- I am so proud of you
- You are so easy to live with, and you have such a sweetness about your temperament
- Thank you for being the first to say, “I can help you” to me or your younger sisters with anything
- I love that you love to work with your hands ~ outside with wood, inside with needle and thread
- You don't wash your hands, you scrub in. Eight minutes and hot water to get rid of the germs
- You braid ropes, my hair, or even Basden's. You are naturally interested in the process of braiding - of creating something
- You're eager and willing to read books to your sisters for me (so helpful!!!)
 - You were so, so excited about making baseball All Stars, and then disappointed when we decided this wasn’t the year for you to play. But you seemed to understand it was best for our family, and you were thoughtful in expressing frustration. Thank you.
- I love your love for nature, for bugs and plants and birds and animals
- You love to read and draw
- At Half-price books, you spread out on the carpet with art history books and take in the colorful paintings
- You take your vitamins every night, usually without having to be asked
- You brush your teeth thoroughly
- You HATE your headgear, understandably

Just like when you were a one-year-old toddler, you still need to be held tightly to be calmed down.

You surprised me with your lack of enthusiasm for homeschooling this year, but you've been a trooper. You miss your friends ~ and I miss that you're missing your friends. I get that. But it's been a tremendous treasure for our family to slow down, and you've thrived in that.

You've told me twice, "Mom, I don't want to hurt your feelings, but the thing I don't like about homeschool is that there's too much freedom" (that's the teacher you were stuck with!)

Our motto this fall: "I can." You get pretty discouraged when something doesn't come easily, or if a task is overwhelming, and we've worked hard on perseverance and not quitting. Attitude is everything. And you CAN do it.

You make friends easily, and feel very bonded to your good friends. But you like to keep it small.

Recently you asked me about Heaven: "Mom, do you think we get to throw flames from our hands?" Hmnnnn...

Basden whispered to me this week that she knows she can't, but she wished she could marry you. "He takes good care of me, Mom."
So proud of that Red Cap you slept in it (how can we ever thank Mr. Redwine??!)
Triple threat

Oh my word - so now that you are turning FIFTEEN... what else do I have to say??! I see the threads of all of these and more in you, Hudda.
On one hand, I can't believe you're fifteen.
But at the same time I keep forgetting you're not already older than that.

How many times have I thrown you the keys, asking you to drive a tired Momma home ~ you'd do just fine.

I love hearing stories of how you set up camp at KIVU or in NM... strategic and systematic and thorough... no surprise.

We still aren't quite sure who we're going to wake up to. Especially if it's uber-early for football. Twice this fall you've gotten pretty agitated in the morning, and both times it's been over socks (!). But most every morning you get up and stumble around and manage to get out the door into the dark wee hours of the morning with everything you need for the day. All is well as long as I don't try to make conversation (which is fine, because you got your morning-ness straight from me).


One of my all-time favs
Love watching you as a teen leader at kids camp ~ ALL IN
You've got some good friends
Lots of good friends. It's a gift.

Just a few things to describe you on the cusp of fifteen...
Always looking for ways to improve things or systems
Slow to complain
Sometimes you're the up-front guy, the student body president, making morning announcements all year
...yet often you're making just as strong (though not quiet) an impact from the dugout

Your drive to succeed academically astounds me

Who knew "Grandpa" would be so fast?!

- I have loved your attitude in football - even with dismal losses, week after week you're enthusiastic about going up against skilled players and hard teams
- I love you for spending 30 minutes last week trying to fix Blakely's carseat in Daboo's car -in the dark - when the rest of us gave up
- I love you for extending kindness, even when ridiculed, to someone who needed to fit in
- I love your appreciation for photography and good art (First Breakfast)
- I love that you want to either be a neurosurgeon or a National Geographic Photographer.

I love, love, love the privilege of living life with you and getting to be your mom.

Happy 15th, Hudson James. There is no other Hudda, no one just like you.
You are an amazing original.
You are my sunshine.