I really hate those Johnson & Johnson commercials, you know, the ones with the baby in the bathtub with the sunlight streaming in the window at justtherightangle. The perfectly coiffed mother sitting there, smiling at her marvelous child. Then the voice over guy says, “Having a baby changes EVERYTHING!” and I roll my eyes, because, well, no SHIT, Sherlock.

Okay, so maybe I’m bitter because I’m not only unshowered, but I am in dire need of a haircut AND a pedicure, and I can never make the bubbles in the tub look quite so…bubbly. Plus, bathing the baby only occurs at night, when the other small one has gone to bed, so no sunlight here, unless it’s just being expelled from my inner sunshine-y nature.

(shut UP)

But bitterness and rancor aside, it’s true: having a baby does change everything.

Because, without Ben, I wouldn’t be here.

I’m not being all dramatical and oh-em-ge, guys, I would have KILLED myself, because that’s really not my style.

(shut UP)

It’s just that there is no life without Ben to think about: I had him at 21, which isn’t *gasp* scandalously young, but it’s young enough to say for certain that we grew up together. Without Ben, there would be no Dave, no blog, no Alex, no Mimi, none of this. *gestures to the room and the world around her*

It’s been a wild ride, for sure, the one that Ben and I have been on together.

Ben has moved 3 times in his young life, he walked me down the aisle at my wedding and stood proudly next to Dave, as his best man. He watched me graduate from school, he’s watched me find my way.

He’s been through a kidnapping and bitter battles between Nat and I. He’s become a big brother twice, taught his siblings the proper names of the planets and learned to (happily!!) change diapers.

He’s overcome speech issues and learned to manage his other compulsions.

We’ve grown up together, Ben and I, and we’ve found our way, where they thought that we were lost. Adrift. But they, they were all wrong. So long as we have each other, we’ll never, ever be lost.

I only hope, child of mine, that one day I can do you as proud as you do me.

Happy, Happy Birthday, Benner. We love you. Without you, we ALL are nothing.


117 thoughts on “And Now You Are Eight

  1. Happy Birthday, Ben! You’re only 8 once, so go play in the mud or do something else that’s fun & messy! Mommy won’t get mad – I promise! (Ducks & runs for cover!)

  2. Happy Birthday Ben! Hope you become a great writer like your mom. Aunt Becky? You look HOT in that picture. The fact that you are only 29 and I am almost a decade older makes me a little pissed. Aren’t there more doddering old mommy bloggers out there? They all seem to be lamenting turning thirty. Sigh.

  3. I love it and couldn’t agree more. Without the two small pieces (well, not so small these days) of my heart that roam the world, I would be nowhere close to where I am now. And that is to say, nowhere at all.

    You are a fantastic mother. Lot’s of people attempt the highwire act called mothering under damned near perfect conditions and FAIL. You’ve done it beautifully with more than your fair share of challenges.

    Bravo. Becky. Bravo.

  4. Happy birthday Ben!
    That was so beautiful and I started crying at the part where he walked you down the isle. I really shouldn’t do that at work, people look at you funny.

  5. Happy birthday, Master Ben, and many happy returns.

    And happy birthday, Aunt Becky, too – you were born into a new life as soon as Ben was. I’m glad you’re here – you help make the Blue Nowhere a better, more interesting place.

    Shade and Sweetwater,

  6. Happy Birthday Ben! 8 is a wonderful age – you have no responsibilities other than playing and eating, and maybe school. I want to be 8 again.

    Also, who the hell bathes a baby in the middle of the day?!? The point of the thing is a good dunking to get off some of the food accumulated during the day. There’s no sunshine in our bathtime either (well, unless you count sunset). And I try to keep my bubbles on the washcloth, as my neurotic mother forever associated bubble baths and UTIs for me. Thanks, mom.

  7. Happy Birthday, Ben!

    Well written, Becky, I know exactly how you feel. One day you’re living your life alone, and the now you have no idea how the world existed before that precious person came into it. There are no words to describe it to someone who isn’t a mommy.

    And Ben walking you down the aisle and being the Daver’s best man? Cutest thing ever! Caden walked us back down the aisle; as soon as we were pronounced, he ran over and latched onto my leg. It was perfect. πŸ™‚

  8. So, so beautiful. He’s going to grow up to be an amazing man. Yesterday, my boy, who was just 8 about 4 hours ago turned 12. TWELVE!! It’s truly amazing to see how they grow up into even so much more than what we hoped for them, isn’t it?

  9. Out of ALL the posts I have had my eyes gloss over-miscarriages, neurosurgery, death, to named a few, this was by far the best. I don’t even know you personally, but I admire the hell out of you, just from that one post.

  10. gawd it sure goes by fast don’t it??

    Happiest of Birthdays to you Ben!!! Hope the next 8 go great!!

  11. OK, AUNT BECKI, I said I dont cry at birthdays, but you TOTALLY made me cry. AT WORK. Not cool, yo.

    HAPPY HAPPY little man πŸ™‚ You are blessed with a wonderful mommy.

  12. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I just niticed : Because Mommy wants cocaine was already taken” I think I have read where you said that before, but….hahaha. that totally made up for making me cry. I heart you.

  13. I’m not going to cry dammit. Seriously. Not. Going. To. Cry.

    *reaching for the kleenex box*

    Beautiful tribute to your son. Happy Birthday, Ben!!

  14. As someone who is turning the big 3-0 today “HAPPY BIRTHDAY Ben!!”
    Leo’s rock. Just keep that passion for life and always remember mom is there for you no matter what.

  15. I so did not expect to get all teary-eyed when I came here.

    Thanks a lot. LOL

    Happy Birthday, Ben!!! You & your mom are a match made in heaven!

  16. 1. I love that photo at the top.
    2. The one at the bottom is super adorable too.
    3. I also hate those commercials.
    4. That is TOO cute that Ben was Dave’s best man.
    5. AWESOME that he changes diapers.

  17. Damn it Becky, now I am all sniffy and snotty and dh is looking at me like I am a spazz. Happy Birthday Ben! And seriously that wedding picture is beautiful.

  18. Happy Birthday Ben! Hope you have a great day~

    I think it is adorable that he walked you down the aisle at your wedding!

    The post was adorable and I had my first at 21 as well and hope to have my last when she is 8 like Ben so that she can change diapers

  19. I noticed the rope and sash, you must have graduated with honors and in the top of your class. I didn’t work hard enough to get a nice number of ropes to dangle around my neck, that’s why I avoided college graduation…plus there were so many at my graduation they had to have it at the arena which holds 30,000 people. Too crowded, had to avoid it!

    This part made me think of something…”……..unless itÒ€ℒs just being expelled from my inner sunshine-y nature.”
    Sooo, if you’re feeling a little too happy, a bit too often there is help for that. Help for being too happy is just a click away.

    Of course, here is help for your baby. Read on…

  20. First, Happy Birthday Ben!

    Second, Becki, I too had a child at 21, which I now realize is WAY too early. You do grow up with them. My daughter, who is now 26, and the mother of a two year old, tells me she now understands and appreciates me like she never did when she was younger. I felt the same way about my mom. Best of luck as you continue this difficult and important job.

  21. I’m gonna be cheesy here….but your words kinda reminded me of the theme to Growing Pains…..which seems to be your problem today…..the pains of watching your baby grow up….
    Show me that smile again
    Oh, show me that smile
    Dont waste another minute on your cryin
    We’re nowhere near the end
    We’re nowhere near
    The best is ready to begin

    All in a cloudy daze
    I look into your eyes and see them shining out
    Holding you close this way
    Holding you this way
    Is like having summer everyday
    Ooh, ooh

    As long as we got each other
    We got the world spinnin right in our hands
    Baby, you and me
    We gotta be
    The luckiest dreamers who never quit dreamin

    As long as we keep on givin
    We can take anything that comes our way
    Baby, rain or shine
    All the time
    We got each other
    Sharin the laughter and love

  22. THAT’s the level of bond parents and children around the world should strive for. THAT’s how important it is. Good on ya for recognizing it, not to mention celebrating it. And happy birthday Ben.

  23. P.S. I LOVE those Johnson & Johnson commercials (don’t shoot me). I also love the State Farm “backseat driver” commercial, and the Hallmark Christmas Card baby (you know the “say ‘Merry Christmas'” one!)commercial. I will add, I don’t have any kids yet lol…which is probably why I can still daydream about those commercials being reality.

  24. He was Daver’s best man?? That’s too cute and awesome for words! (Have you posted the story of how you met Daver yet? I’m really curious right now)
    I can’t imagine having a kid at 21 I”m 23 now…


  25. Happy Birthday Ben!! You’ve got an awesome mom!

    And I LOVE that commerical where the baby is in the sink, and it says something like “I never knew the love of my life would be short, fat and bald.” Makes me cry.

  26. Aw, babe. What a sweet, sweet birthday post for your big kid.

    Also, how much do I love the picture of the three of you walking down the aisle at the wedding? Answer – more than I love my Vibra-Bra. Which is a LOT.

  27. Happy birthday to the little Benner!

    And wait. He changes diapers?! I had no idea this was possible. My 8-year-old is almost a whole four months older than your 8-year-old. I HAVE WASTED AT LEAST FOUR MONTHS CHANGING DIAPERS I COULD HAVE PAWNED OFF ON THE BIG BROTHER.

  28. Happy, happy birthday, Ben! You are an amazing person who is much loved by your family and friends. May all your dreams come true! deb

  29. What a briliant gift you were given on his birthday! I fully understand the weight of the desire you have to give him ANYthing that even approaches what he has given you. Hope you had a tremendous day together!

    And … randomly… my son’s nickname for me is your nickname for Amelia. He’s been calling me Mimi since he could talk, in addition to Mom, and when he’s feeling particularly squishy. TOO adorable, on his part.

  30. Thanks so much for your comments and encouragement.

    I read this post earlier today, but I couldn’t think of a comment that adequately reflected how touching it was to me.

    Every day I worry that it will always be this horrible and lonely and frustrating. And then I read your blog. And I don’t feel so bad.

    So thanks for that, too.

  31. I have a similar situation to you. I have an eight year old daughter. Her Father and I spent a year batteling it out in court. It was awful, restraining orders, no phone calls, it was like I lost my heart. I understand what it means to think you might lose the only thing in your life that gave it any meaning. I applaud you for making it through, and coming out better. I am now re-married with a two year old and a degree I never use lol πŸ™‚ I look back and wonder how I made it. It’s nice to hear your story. Thanks for sharing your life.

  32. When I was little, everyone always asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I always answered, “A Mommy.” I said it with the same certainty you declare that you want to be an astronaut. (or hooker, a lawyer, wear a mullet, whatever)

    Fertility Specialists said I was “Unlikely to ever conceive”

    My Mom always wants me to send them a Christmas Card of the hubby & I with our 2 boys. :o)

    (course, I’d just tell them to ‘suck it’, and really – that’s not very Christmasy)

    It is everything I hoped it would be and more. I am breathless everyday at the weirdo things they both do. So funny, and sweet, and charming.

    I can’t imagine the woman I would be without them. I was so lost. They just centered me. Like an anchor. What joys they both are!!

    And that sunshine your looking for? Coming outta my but. :o)

    You really made me smile today. :o) Thanks.

  33. First, I love your blog! I have been reading it for a few weeks now, but this is the first time I have commented. I love how you paint a real picture of how a child changes your life. Yes, they change everything, but they have a way of changing the mother as a person forever. It is nothing a comercial for baby soap can every communicate, that’s for sure.

  34. OK, so I am a few days late on this, but it just melted my heart. I have similar feelings of being saved by my oldest as well (for reasons WAY to complicated to get into here!) so it really brought a tear to my eye. Hope his day was awesome!

    According to Ben, it was “the best day ever.” Thank you for your good wishes. Ben rules.

  35. I come onto this blog for my daily chuckle, as you seem to be my slightly more sarcastic twin. But today’s post made me cry! It was just beautiful, as was the picture from your wedding. Resume your quirky, sarcastic posts and stop making us all cry and wonder who took over your blog for the day πŸ™‚

  36. I can so relate: I’m also unshowered and in need of a haircut and pedicure! I love motherhood! *twirls in a spinny dress*

    Bwahahaha! I love your twirling! Seriously, good shit, man.

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