Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Best of Birthdays

It's Mother's Day today, but it's also Oliver's birthday: May 10, 2001. And I've been upstaged. He's eight years old, my youngest Boy. When I had him, two years and nine months after Henry and six years after Sophie, I called him My Dessert. He was one of those babies who stayed in a little ball all the time, his soft head tucked under my chin. He was gentle and sweet and oh, so beautiful.

But then he grew. He stayed beautiful but not gentle and only sometimes sweet. He went through a stage when he first began to talk when he said I hate everyone and everything.

He got into trouble when he was about two and a half and said I hate Santa.

He has said all manner of shocking things, including Jesus is boring to a carful of Catholic schoolboys three years older than he. When I asked him what he wanted for Christmas one year he replied Nothing. I want to be Jewish.

After a young babysitter watched him one afternoon, he commented to me that he'd seen the woman's "crack." When I asked him what he meant he pointed to my breasts and said, that. What is that crack? I told him it was called cleavage and he said, very quickly, I want to put my finger down that lady's crack. He was barely four years old.

Oh, Oliver, my dessert. A face like an angel and a tongue that could cut you down. He sucks his thumb and carries a blanket. He loves our dog Valentine more than anyone else. He is fierce and loyal and irreverent and drives me crazy. He has driven me to tears but more often makes me laugh.

He is honest. He has wondered aloud and worried about who will take care of Sophie when I get old. I don't want to take care of her, he said. But he always wishes that she would not have special needs.

He's my dessert.

He's insisted that he wants to be a mailman when he grows up, because I like the shorts, the truck and I'm a good sorter. He also wants to live in our back cottage when he gets older, by myself with no wife or family, he told me.

My son the Mailman who lives in my backyard by himself. Should I be nervous?

Happy Birthday Oliver. God, I love him.


  1. This is just the kind of kid I LOVE to! Hang on for the rest of the ride!

  2. He sounds like an absolute TRIP! :) happy bday oliver!

  3. God you love him. Who could blame you. I love him too.

    I was laughing throughout this whole post.

    He is gorgeous and so is his Mommy.

    I love all of the things he said.

    Pure and honest.

    Love Renee

    Happy Birthday Mr. Oliver.

  4. What a precious posting. He's gorgeous, and he sounds as if he has a brilliant mind that is always "going," maybe a bit like Dave Barry's. Wonderful photos of him, and his cake looks delicious. I hope you are writing down all of these things that he says, to share with him later (when he's living by himself in that cozy cottage). Who can blame him for wanting a little solitude and coziness? I feel the same way!
    God bless you and your family.

  5. What a sweet and funny post. He is so cute. Happy Birthday and Happy Mother's day!

  6. That was completely delightful. Happy Mother's day. And Happy Birthday, Oliver!

  7. We love Ollie! Talk about a kid with some spirit, he's going to be a great wingman to his friends, and an even better source of entertainment for years to come. It always amazes us how much alike Ollie and Nick can be at times, both so strong willed, irreverent, brooding, smart and just flat out funny, even though you can't let them see you laughing. In a strange way, I look forward to many nights sitting on the front porch wondering where Ollie and Nick are once one of them has a car.

  8. Whenever I hear wonderful stories like this it always makes me think that they're old souls, where some of the former occupant didn't quite leave the premises.

    What a brilliant little boy, inside and out.

    Happy Birthday Oliver!

  9. hands off, everyone. the boy is mine.
    and yes..very happy to make that cake for him...ready for pick up on Friday!

  10. Oh My Goodness! I just love him! He could marry my Hilary (who will be 8 in Sept.) She wants to be "home-colleged" and live on the same street so she can walk over for food anytime she wants to.

  11. Could these pictures have any more personality?! (the answer is no) I love them!

  12. that post made me laugh out loud! thanks :)

  13. oooo. he sounds so deliciously cheky and absolutely BRILLIANT! i LOVE your son, too. HAPPY BIRTHDAY OLIVER!

  14. I always wanted to be a mailman too! I still haven't given up on my dream. One day.

  15. Over from blog gems- what a great post! I wonder what he'll think when he reads that back when he's older? Happy Birthday Oliver!

  16. You having such a cool family with genuine children who are good at heart, speaks volumes about you as a person Elizabeth (and that makes me feel like a jerk for leaving some of the comments that I post)

    Thanks a lot Oliver!! :)

  17. I love Blog Gems, your little Oliver sounds like a handful. A happy, smart as a whip little boy that stole your heart the moment you put eyes on him...

  18. There are far worse things than wanting to be a mailman who lives in the back cottage. In fact, I think that's a very decent plan.
    This is a good one and Oliver is a good boy. And mighty pretty.

  19. He's quite the ticket your Oliver! Great post! is he still as funny and - ahem - honest?!

    xx jazzy (via Blog gems)



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