The Birthdays

On June 10th, Annie Bea turned 6-years-old. On June 15th, Grady turned 9-years-old.

Thinking back on the days when Annie Bea and Grady were still in diapers and eating birthday cake with their hands (ok, they still eat cake with their hands), it’s hard to believe it was that long ago. It’s so cliche to say but, in so many ways, it really does feel like yesterday I was taking these pictures.

Annie Bea had just turned 1-year-old in this picture. We were living in Boston and packing up for our next move to Miami. What I remember most about Annie Bea is something that is still true about her today. She loved to push buttons. My buttons, to be exact. I have this amazing video of Annie as a baby where I’m begging her to say MAMA but she constantly replies DADA and bursts out laughing when she sees how frustrated it’s making me. My inability to get her to do what I want makes her light up. And as much as I would love to rule her life, I am so proud of her for shouting DADA. It was her way of warning me, “You don’t have a daughter who’s going to just roll over and take instructions from people. My life is going to run on my terms. Buckle up. I promise it will be fun. And cute. And really really really frustrating.”

Grady had just turned 2-years-old in this picture. We were living in Boulder. First of all, can I just say THOSE CHEEKS! Right? Anyway, I remember this moment so clearly. It was the day of Grady’s birthday party. His music teacher was coming over to do a sing-along with him and his friends. She showed up wearing a skirt that may as well have been a belt. She sat on the ledge of our fireplace singing Old MacDonald with her hoo-ha out for all to see. Ok, back to Grady.

As a baby, Grady was the sweetest. And if it’s even possible, as a 9-year-old, I think he might be even sweeter. Grady is the kind of person whose heart aches for those in trouble. He really cares. Deeply. His compassion and genuine love for everyone around him is so admirable. And damn is he funny. Grady has a comment that could put you in stitches for almost everything.

In fact, speaking of funny, Annie Bea has a few zingers in her daily conversations, as well. So, I’m equally proud of my kids’ ability to keep us entertained.

I guess what I’m trying to say is HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my favorite people on earth. I couldn’t have designed two more perfect individuals to be my caretakers when I’m old and gray (and drunk).

I love you marshmallow most.

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