Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Simeon Turned Ten Today

Simeon turned ten today, this baby of ours who never really was a baby. He was born full term, barrel-chested and blue, wriggling all his baby muscles with surprising force and determination. It was one decade ago, but I remember every day of his first few months of life. He wasn't a cuddly baby or a very gentle or quiet nurser, but he was handsome and strong. He had dark, swirling hair and a beautiful complexion. I would stare at him for hours. My mother called him "The Brick." I called him my "Meaty Sweetie."

As our family grew, Simeon always considered himself a kind of third parent in the home. To his mind, it's been me, my husband and himself raising these four boys. He's enforced our rules and taken exception to many of them, being a kind of third parent and all that. To his credit, he's taken on many of the responsibilities of parenthood as well, watching over little ones, comforting them, praising them, often putting their needs before his. He's been a good brother.

Now, at ten, he mows the lawn for us, babysits (in another room, while I'm still at home), manages most parts of his own laundry and Alex's, makes lunch for everybody some days and breakfast on others, and helps with the cleaning when I ask. In return, we pay him a small amount of money and try to treat him a little more like the third adult in the home he's thought he was all along.

Today, our favorite lifeguard at the YMCA offered to babysit for us. She wrote her name and number on a slip of paper and handed it to me as we were leaving.

"What's that?" Simeon asked.

"She wants to babysit for us, so she gave me her number."

"That's great," Simeon said with enthusiasm and I was surprised. We don't often use a babysitter and I didn't know what he'd think. Then he went on, "So, she can come and babysit for us and we can get out and do something on our own [emphasis mine]!"

We just might have to do that.

But for tonight, I picked up a bag of lemons and he and I are making fresh lemonade after the other boys are in bed. Then, for the first time this summer, we'll cozy up on our screened-in lighted porch and read and read and read. He has his books-- The Deep, Ramona the Brave, and Davy Crockett. And I have mine--I Am One of You Forever, Nourishing Traditions, and a Cooking Light magazine I just picked up. It's great having a young man in the house.

Happy Birthday, Simeon, we love you!

18 comments:

Matilda said...

Happy Birthday, young man! I hope you have a fantastic day enjoying your lovely family!

Cheryl M. said...

Happy, Happy Birthday Simeon!!! You are a wonderful boy!! :)

Kathryn said...

Happy Birthday Simeon!!!
Your going to love Nourishing Traditions, I have to read with high lighter in hand!

reprehriestless warillever said...

Happy Birthday, Simeon!

I only know you from this blog, but you seem like quite a boy.

You are probably right -- you and your mom should get a babysitter and have an afternoon out together. Those one-on-one moments are precious.

Sue B. said...

Happy Birthday! And I absolutely love the babysitting story.

Margaret in Minnesota said...

Happy 10th Birthday, Simeon!! I know you are going to really enjoy being "two numbers." My son, Joe, does...so much so that he even puts up with me calling him my version of "my meaty sweetie." ;)

What can you do? We're your mothers!

twithhoney said...

What a precious son! Happy Birthday to Simeon!!

And Happy 10th Anniversary of becoming a mommy to you, Suzanne!

Kristen Laurence said...

Happy Birthday to you, Simeon!!

gretchen from lifenut said...

Happy Birthday #10, Simeon.

I hope your special day was great.

Julie said...

Happy Birthday, Simeon!

Jill said...

Happy Birthday, Simeon!
Suzanne- you have a way with words. I loved the great description of your 'grown' boy.

jerseygirlmama said...

Happy Belated Birthday to Simeon! I loved the story of how you chose his name and since we went through our own woes of losing babies before we got baby Shelby, Simeon is always on my short list for a baby boy (of course Joseph won out for my newest little guy). And I know how important Simeon's role is in the family because it was my role. I had only 3 little brothers, but I was the big sister and third parent. And reading the post today, makes me realize what a gift that was to my parents, just as it is to yours Simeon!
God Bless all the Temples!
Kristen

Tammy said...

I just found your blog again...:)

What a sweet post about your oldest son! So well written, too...

I understand what a milestone 10 must be...I just have two daughters, and my oldest will be turning 9 this summer..can't believe it!

A very happy birthday to your little boy...um, I mean young man! :)

Blessings,
~Tammy

Mary Poppins NOT said...

Many years to Simon, in peace, health and happiness. I remember when my oldest turned 10. It is a turning point of sorts. Enjoy!

Barb, sfo said...

He sounds like a great kid! I hope his birthday was a super-happy one.

mel said...

:)
Sweet...I have an 11yo daughter, my oldest, and she is the same way with considering herself one of the adults in the house...

Melissa Wiley said...

Oh, what a wonderful post. Enjoyed every syllable. He sounds like a great kid.

How are you liking I Am One of You Forever? That is one of my favorite books. I had the immense privilege of studying with Fred Chappell in grad school, and not a day passes that I'm not grateful for the experience. He's a gem, that man.

Joy said...

Hi! I just happened upon your blog. I, too, have all boys (3), and my oldest will be 10 in one and a half weeks. Where does time go? Love your blog. It's all so familiar . . .
Also, I loved I Am One of You Forever. Favorite story was the one about the uncle with the unruly beard. You may also like Brighten the Corner Where You Are, by the same author, if you have not already read it.
Thanks for sharing you life.