Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Meet Ben

Ben is sitting beside me.  Note: It's 5:58 AM, a time when most five year olds are snug in their beds, dreaming of the summer time activities they'll be doing when they do later that day, when they roll lazily out of bed.

Not Ben.  He's an up-and-at-'em type of guy.  He does everything quickly and loudly--I'm grateful that my other two kids are still sleeping as he sprinted to the bathroom and clumped down the stairs to me moments ago.  His bright green-hazel eyes are still sleepy but happy to see me in this quiet house that is now ours to share.

He is now sitting next to me, wearing his pajamas, which are really only pajama bottoms.  They're old hand-me-downs from his cousin in St. Louis, but Ben loves them because they have footballs and baseballs all over them. His upper body is lanky and chiseled--I marvel at how many muscles are packed into his little body.  I guess that's what you get when you never stop moving.

Ben (in yellow shirt) and his buddy,
after their rugby game
He asked me to play a card game with him, but I explained that this is my time to write.  With a quick "awwww" that comes hard-wired in all kids to voice their disappointment, he trots over to the printer to grab a piece of paper.  He wants to write out numbers or "scores" that make perfect sense to him. I ask him what he's doing, and he does his best to explain it. The top row belongs to Seattle, the bottom row, Los Angelos.  He explains to me that Seattle won.  I'm happy about that, though I'm not even sure which sport we're talking about. I'd like to chalk it up to the fact that I only have the first of two cups of coffee ingested, but I really think it's because we're on two different wave lengths.

Ben is our oldest son. The big brother.  That's what I say when I introduce him. In truth, he's our middle child. He's smack dab between a smart and funny big sister and a sweet and adorable little brother. Ben's full time job is to stand out.

He does a good job at standing out, thanks in part to the world of sports, where his ability to do things quickly really comes in handy.  He's been really great at anything he tries out--t-ball, rugby, tennis, golf, soccer.  How he has fit in all these sports in his five years I really don't know.  It helps to have a big yard and a curious mind, a supportive dad happy to provide the gear for anything in which he expresses interest, and a mom who will help him find books on anything.  But really, it all starts with Ben.

Checking the scores of yesterday's games
As he sits here next to me, interrupting my writing about him with with his enthusiastic recount of yesterday's games.  He's chattering on about how the Dodgers are a really good team, and the Pirates' McCutchen is super fast.  The game yesterday looked "pretty good," like it would have been a "pretty fun one to watch." At least now I know he's talking about baseball.  Clearly I've moved through my two cups of coffee.

Sometimes, in this parenting journey in which I'd like to take and maintain full control, I'm simply along for the ride.  I sure am curious to see where it ends, and what happens along the way with this unique boy named Ben who sits beside me.


  1. I love this slice - I have a 7 year old middle son who has the same full time job: standing out. He stands out with his love of science and invention - and never stops moving. He's always the first one up as well, with so much to talk about. Thanks for sharing your slice!

  2. I was only saying to my now 17 year old son on Sunday as he was sharing his hopes and dreams for the future with his dad and me that watching your child grow up is like watching a fantastic movie. You just love to see it unfold and wonder what is going to happen next and you don't want to miss any of it. Ben sounds like a joy to have around. Enjoy , he will be 17 before you know it!!

  3. I love that you say his f/t job is to stand-out. That's brilliant. Sounds like he is a real stand-out of a son. He sounds like a wonderful family member (and older brother).