Best of 2009 Blog Challenge: Moment of Peace + Happy Birthday Ben!

ben_tub_700.jpg
Ben, tub, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

Dear Ben,

I am sitting in the bathroom with you while you take a bath. It is our daily ritual and one of the most peaceful moments of our day. You in the hot, soapy water, me listening to you sing and talk to your animals. And then the occasional conversation between us:

Me: What was that?
Ben: A bubble fart!
Me: Wow!
Ben: Now I’m going pee pee.

It’s our one pause of the day, a rare moment when we have nowhere to go and we’re not rushing to the next thing. When will I ever learn to stop rushing to the next thing?

Anyway Ben, you are three years old today. Three years old!! I am amazed by how much you know and how wise you are in the most important ways.

ben_dragon_dolores_park.jpg
Ben, Dolores Park, SF, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

Your train phase is coming to a close and your sea creature phase has begun. More specifically, your whale obsession is in full effect. Every night you point to the creatures in our whale book and tell me the names: That’s a beluga, that’s a great whale (grey whale is the proper name but whatevs!) a pilot, a sperm whale, and that’s a whale shark. You are teaching me so much Ben! I didn’t even know whale sharks existed.

And then there’s the dinosaurs. Dinos! I am beginning to see how being the parent of a boy requires a sophisticated vocabulary of dinosaurs, trucks and wildlife. I am slowly learning my wart hog from my narwhal. My excavator from my digger. Oh, and I can recite all the names of the Thomas trains.

ben_dragon_smiles.jpg

As always Ben, you have it bad for music. What you lack in technical skill you make up for in showmanship. You’ve got that rockstar thing down. It is almost alarming how good you look playing guitar.

Mostly Ben, I want to tell you that for me, there is one moment of the day that is always better than every other. It is the moment when I pick you up from school. You are usually playing outside and I look around the play area for you. When we spot each other, you face lights up in the biggest grin and you shout Mama!! and run full throttle towards me. Then we hug and smoosh our faces together and seriously Ben, it’s like the BEST THING EVER. The very best thing that happens to me all day. What could ever happen that could be better than that?

I just love you so much.

Happy Birthday my beautiful boy.

Love,
Mama

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Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.

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56 Comments

  1. Mel

    Happy Birthday Ben.
    Dharma and Ben share their birthday, Dharma was also born on the 7th December 2006. At 9pm. Ben (or rather Benedikt) was on our boys’ names list.
    Strange.
    Dharma runs up to everyone now, counting down on her fingers “Look, I am three years old now.”

  2. Toni

    Happy Birthday Darling Ben,
    Three years old and a world changer already!
    This boy is magic, I can tell.

  3. melissa

    and happy birth-day to you, Andrea! Ben is such a beautiful boy, and i love watching him grow through you (literally and figuratively).
    that school pick-up moment? it’s my very favorite thing too; the thing that always lifts my spirits and makes my heart swell.
    hope you have the best of days together today.
    love.

  4. Yolanda

    Happy birthday to sweet, beautiful Ben!

  5. Tania

    So I chuckled, then giggled, then came over wobbly lower lip. Gorgeous post. Happy birthday to you both.

  6. Tania

    So I chuckled, then giggled, then came over wobbly lower lip. Gorgeous post. Happy birthday to you both.

  7. Tania

    So I chuckled, then giggled, then came over wobbly lower lip. Gorgeous post. Happy birthday to you both.

  8. Tania

    So I chuckled, then giggled, then came over wobbly lower lip. Gorgeous post. Happy birthday to you both.

  9. Tania

    So I chuckled, then giggled, then came over wobbly lower lip. Gorgeous post. Happy birthday to you both.

  10. Tania

    Argh! My APOLOGIES for all that comment nonsense – I kept getting an error message not an ‘ok, that worked’ version. Now attempting to delete the multiples…

  11. cjm

    Aww, that’s awesome. Happy birthday, handsome Ben!

  12. Megan

    Happy birthday, Ben!
    Andrea, you know you’re the best mom ever, right? Happy mama day to you!

  13. heather

    Happy Birthday little man! 3 years old and already a *Rockstar*. Andrea thanks for sharing about Ben on your blog, he is such a joy to read about and such great pictures. I am always grateful to hear mamahood stories as well. I used to be really afraid of motherhood and your wisdom has shifted that for me over the last 3 years. You are magical…

  14. Brigindo

    Happy Birthday Ben! Your post brings back a lot of memories of raising my little boy (who turned 20 on Dec 6). Picking him up at school was my favorite too. What I wouldn’t do for one more taste of it.

  15. Brigindo

    Happy Birthday Ben! Your post brings back a lot of memories of raising my little boy (who turned 20 on Dec 6). Picking him up at school was my favorite too. What I wouldn’t do for one more taste of it.

  16. lynda Howells

    your images of your son also brought back memories of my own two children, who are now are 33 and 34! they grow up sooooo quickly. Make the most of the time you have when they are still so small and mummy is the most important person in their lives. dads are good but mum is necessary!Hax i still have an amazing relationship with both my children thankfully and l am a great believe in what goes round comes around. Oh and happy birthday benx..even if it is a bit latexlynda

  17. lynda Howells

    your images of your son also brought back memories of my own two children, who are now are 33 and 34! they grow up sooooo quickly. Make the most of the time you have when they are still so small and mummy is the most important person in their lives. dads are good but mum is necessary!Hax i still have an amazing relationship with both my children thankfully and l am a great believe in what goes round comes around. Oh and happy birthday benx..even if it is a bit latexlynda

  18. lynda Howells

    your images of your son also brought back memories of my own two children, who are now are 33 and 34! they grow up sooooo quickly. Make the most of the time you have when they are still so small and mummy is the most important person in their lives. dads are good but mum is necessary!Hax i still have an amazing relationship with both my children thankfully and l am a great believe in what goes round comes around. Oh and happy birthday benx..even if it is a bit latexlynda

  19. lynda Howells

    your images of your son also brought back memories of my own two children, who are now are 33 and 34! they grow up sooooo quickly. Make the most of the time you have when they are still so small and mummy is the most important person in their lives. dads are good but mum is necessary!Hax i still have an amazing relationship with both my children thankfully and l am a great believe in what goes round comes around. Oh and happy birthday benx..even if it is a bit latexlynda

  20. Caroline

    Happy Happy Birthday my sweet nephew – we love you!!! Can’t wait to see you grow this coming year. Wishing you a fantastic day… as I wonder why I thought you’re birthday was today (the 8th) and feeling a little badly that I didn’t call you yesterday. Sorry dude! I’ll get it right next time though. Love you Andrea!
    xoxoCaroline

  21. pomegranate.

    Happy Birthday, Ben!!
    Three years old?! How is that even possible? Insanity.
    I love that best part of your day. Have been experiencing some similar bests with my own Beebs.

  22. Nicole

    how is it possible that ben is three? wow. happy bday, ben! and happy mama anniversary, andrea! such a sweet letter to your boy…

  23. Wanda

    Happy birthday, Ben. You are beautiful!

  24. sperlygirl

    andrea, i was teary reading your letter to sweet ben. my son will be 4 in jan and i smiled and nodded through your post – the dinos, the fish, the construction thingys – so with you on this. it’s like it’s wired in their dna. and your description of meeting up to a big hug at the end of the day – well, it’s what makes my heart swell – coming home.
    happy birthday sweet ben!

  25. Kirstie

    The bathtub photograph is absolutely beautiful! Your words continue to move me to tears and smiles. Your honesty and your love of your little man Ben is inspiring. One of my favourite moments of the day is checking in on your blog. 🙂
    Happy Birthday Ben, your adventures are so fun to follow!

  26. sara

    happy birthday, Ben! missing y’all…

  27. Valentina

    This post is beautiful 🙂
    Happy Birthday!

  28. Valentina

    This post is beautiful 🙂
    Happy Birthday!

  29. Valentina

    This post is beautiful 🙂
    Happy Birthday!

  30. jackie

    watch out for the whale “phase”…for me, it ended up not being a phase at all (i think i was four or five when it started). currently getting a masters degree in marine acoustics looking at right whales (does he know that one yet?).

  31. Tina

    Oh I remember the pick-up from school moments with such joy. Now at 7 my sweet boy shows his enthusiasm in much more subdued and “cool” ways. I still trip over dinosaurs though I see a new interest in making things. I have to say I’m not sorry for the change. I know more about dinos than I ever thought possible. I’m just grateful it wasn’t sports. There’s nothing better than being a mom, even on it’s worst days. Wayyyy more fun than I anticipated.

  32. jill

    I read about so many different parent/child relationships on various blogs… but whenever I read about your Ben, my heart swells and tears form. Maybe it’s because I’ve read from beginning and remember your longing desire for this child, or maybe because the love is so apparant, or maybe it’s the childless life I live myself. But I tell you, it’s just the best thing ever getting to see him grow, and watch your lives unfold.
    Just a delight!! Thank you for sharing it with us!! AND, Happy Birthday to Sweet “rockstar” Ben…

  33. Shelley Noble

    How beautiful, how touching. The photos, the sentiment of joy and love. Happy Birthday to you both.

  34. jessica

    once again, you have touched me to the point of tears…you are such a great mama

  35. Trish

    Spot. On. A. Great. Post.
    Happy, Happy Birthday Ben and Birth Day of your Boy,
    xoxo
    Trish

  36. tea_austen

    What could be better than that?
    Nothing.
    xox

  37. Marilyn

    this made me teary. THREE?! wow. happy, HAPPY birthday to your beautiful Ben. “What could ever happen that could be better than that?” nothing. xo

  38. cath

    Well this was just awesome… over the top, wonderful sweetness. A perfect testament to perfectly pure love.

  39. stacy

    so, so beautiful. xo

  40. celeste

    Oh, the birthdays and daily rituals of love we mamas who have traversed the road of infertility get to savor. A beautiful post for a beautiful boy. Blessings upon you, Ben and his papa!

  41. kolleen

    HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO SWEET BEN!
    This post gave me tears and such a warmth inside my heart! i could completely envision that moment of smooshing the faces together picking up Ben from school. This is GOOD GOOD stuff…nothing. is better than that! nothing sweet Andrea!
    xoxo
    k

  42. MB

    Happy Joy Filled Birthday To You Beautiful Ben!
    Love * Hugs

  43. denise

    oh ben…you are so beautiful.
    carsten and i were just talking the other day about how when we were visiting at your house around this time of year, right after you turned one years old (the same age as cedar is now) and you laid your head on carsten’s chest. i think you helped heal his heart that day. i think that is when he felt certain we’d have our own little miracle.
    and that is what you are…a sweet precious miracle.
    happy birthday dear one. thank you for creating such happiness in your mom & dad’s life.

  44. Michelle Shopped

    i loved the photos — so reminiscent of my boy at that age with his costumes and child humor and wisdom…and you are so right — when their little face lights up at the sight of you, and you hear them call mama as they run to you, jump in your arms and snuggle their face into your neck? well, that is the best feeling in the world…happy birthday, ben!

  45. Mike Wong

    I love this post! 😀 Incredibly heart warming and adorable. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Happy Belated, Ben!

  46. Jennifer

    I do hope you’re creating a hard copy of all this (including all of our comments) for Ben so that he can look back on all this when he becomes a parent himself, or turns 50, or retires, or turns 90….I’ve really come to believe how important personal history is and how wonderful it is to have tangible records of it….he knows you love him, but how great will it be when he has children and grandchildren of his own to look back on this journal in real black and white (and color) material.
    And man, I can’t believe it’s been three years already!!

  47. Lisa

    This is wonderfully beautiful!
    Happy Birthday Ben and Happy Anniversary of Motherhood Andrea 🙂

  48. tanja

    made me cry !

  49. SatoKetaJeots

    Fenrokseffels
    ypgf

  50. elizabeth

    happy birthday to Ben!
    it would be fun to learn about whales and dinosaurs.

  51. W. Lotus

    Three already? I can hardly believe it. He is beautiful, and the photos you make of him show that very clearly.
    A happy, blessed year to all of you.

  52. Catherine

    oh my god. I loved reading this! Thank you for sharing it with us.
    You are such a GREAT MAMA!!!!! He is so lucky he picked you!

  53. tracy

    i got turned on to you by Brene Brown. I just read this post about your Ben’s 3rd bday and felt like I was reading a letter to my own Max who will be 3 in Feb. From the train phase to the dino phase (sharks not so much but we’re going to the Aquarium next week 😉 to the school hug and “MAMA!”… thank you for reminding me how much I love my son. Happy Birthday, Ben!

  54. Tina Hirsig

    I wanted to leave you a note to tell you I was moved by this post. I randomly came across your blog today. I have two boys ages 5 and 7. I write them letters just like this about every six months and tuck the letters away for them to read when they are adults. It also helps me remember all the amazing times we are sharing. I agree, that the best part of my day is at pick up. This is why my husband does the drop offs. I prefer the joyous ‘hellos” after being apart. It is so wonderful to read about other mothers having similar moments that shoot right to the heart:) Wonderful!
    Tina Hirsig

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