Happy Birthday, Bird!

by Ilinap on August 29, 2014


They said the time swoops in a mad dash. I didn’t believe them. I was mired in the muck of motherhood. Diaper pails, baby wails, parenting flails. 

The milestones were a flurry of excitement in the early days. There were simple yet stunning achievements, and we cooed at every turn. As the years carry on we coo less and cringe more. Such are the trappings of the tween years. The first time the baby teeters in his first steps morphs into the first time the boy walks to school alone. The pudgy crawling baby who suddenly stands up turns to the boy who stands taller than you. And then there’s the shift from playdates to dates. 

When Bird was a little boy he had an imaginary friend named Jimmy. Jimmy from South Carolina. Sometimes Bird would use toy tools to “fix” his toy ride-on train to go visit Jimmy. We still joke about Jimmy. Now Bird is in middle school and has friends who are real to him and imaginary to us because we don’t know them. 


Such milestones carry on, each stone on the path of parenthood pops up less frequently but looms larger. Trying to grasp those memories and hold on is like trying to hold a stream of light in your fingertips.

Bird turns 11 today. He started middle school a few days ago. In kindergarten he got an award for “Most Likely to Be a Politician.” In first grade his award was “Voracious Vocabulary.” In later years he won awards for math, social studies, and honor roll. His brain has always been circuited to be a few clicks ahead. Humor me a moment.

When Bird was three he was being naughty and difficult. I threatened to take away his favorite toy, a Nerf basketball, if he carried on with his poor behavior. The kid went upstairs, got the basketball, handed it to me, and said, “Here you go, Mommy. You might as well have it then.” And scene.

The turning tides are going to be fierce with this one. Bird has felt life fiercely since he was born. He is driven and settles for nothing less than perfect, for better or worse. He’s hard on himself and won’t celebrate his own accomplishments. He doesn’t like when I brag on him. Bird is the child who is painfully like me. Our constitution is remarkably similar; we roll our eyes at the same things, we have high expectations of others, we have nary a thread of patience. There are good qualities we share too, but remember what I said about bragging. Aw hell, I’m his mom, and today’s his birthday. 

Here’s a glimpse at my Bird.


  1. Bird is a voracious reader. His nose has always been in a book. Always. This is why he runs late. All. The. Time.
  2. He plays piano beautifully but prefers guitar so he can play every Green Day song.
  3. He is tender hearted deep down but doesn’t want you to know that. His poker face is his armor.
  4. Sports drive this child’s competitive spirit. When he’s not reading, he’s dribbling, swatting at, tossing, or chasing a ball.
  5. The boy’s palate is more mature than most adults’. He’s chosen 18 Seaboard for his birthday dinner and is willing to sport a collared shirt and bow tie for it (Deal is grouchy about this but will play along for a shot at good dessert.).
  6. He’s a witty kid who can appreciate word play. I adore him for this.
  7. Bird’s math mind is borderline Rain Man. I cannot relate to this at all. I will have him manage my business accounts one of these days.
  8. At a young age he realized the book is always better than the movie.
  9. Bird is tidy. He doesn’t always make his bed (See #1), but his room is often the neatest part of the house.
  10. Bird carries the confidence of a grown man. I don’t know where he gets this, but it’s decidedly not from me. (Note: Never confuse extroversion with confidence.)
  11. I always tell Bird that once he learns how to make a mean homemade red sauce, he’s going to be a golden package – smart, athletic, creative, musically gifted, and handsome. Naturally, he rolls his eyes at this.


IMG_8172 IMG_8655

This is 11.




Bird in My Soul

by Ilinap on August 29, 2014





I Won’t Follow

August 27, 2014

Tweet You know that feeling that convinces you that you are a louse when all your friends like something (or someone) that has no appeal to you? Do you scratch your head in amazement that people actually choose to do certain things and find you to be the bore when you don’t agree? Are you [...]

Read the full article →

Celebrating & Cursing Time – aka Last Day of Summer

August 22, 2014

Tweet   Today marks the last Friday of summer. Come Monday I will be the mother of a middle schooler. This is simultaneously hysterical and frightening. Middle school marks the transition to so many developmental milestones, not to mention facial hair and a changing voice (possibly for both of us). Hold me. Karma has one [...]

Read the full article →

Being Neighborly in a White Neighborhood

August 18, 2014

Tweet On a rare date night we received a frantic call. From a neighbor, not even the sitter. My heart stopped beating. I couldn’t blink. “Don’t worry. Your boys are fine.” Breathe. Exhale. Relief. “But the cops were at your house.” WTF?! And now the hairs on my neck stood in prickly salutes. My mouth [...]

Read the full article →

Be Inspiring

August 14, 2014

Tweet Maybe it’s time we stop sharing inspiring quotes and actually do something inspiring. I posted this statement to Facebook and Twitter the other day when my stream was exploding with inspirational quotes and memes. I do love a good quote. I have journals from high school brimming with quotes that inspired me. I was [...]

Read the full article →

Oh Captain, My Captain…RIP Robin Williams

August 11, 2014

Tweet To never see his smirk again… Or be jolted by his laugh. In a cruel twist of irony, the man who made us convulse in fits of hilarity is gone too soon due to profound depression. Perhaps as he lifted us he consumed all he had, leaving nothing for his own nourishment. I don’t [...]

Read the full article →

Summer Makes Me Cuke – 5:00 Fridays TM

August 8, 2014

Tweet All the back to school stuff clogging the aisles of every store is making me feel a bit uneasy. Oh sure, I’ll miss the boys. We have had a playful summer and wallowed in the luxury of boredom. But I won’t miss the din of constant bickering. For the record, bickering at deafening decibels [...]

Read the full article →

Glory of Summer – Wordless Wednesday

August 6, 2014

Tweet TweetShare

Read the full article →

“Kid-Friendly” Food is a Disservice to Kids

August 4, 2014

Tweet   I loathe the term “kid-friendly” when it comes to food. That is too often synonymous with fat-laden-greasy-sodium-overdose-fried-processed-garbage-cut-into-bite-size-nuggets. Let’s just call it FLGSOFPGCIBSN for short. Now don’t get me wrong. There’s a time for indulging in FLGSOFPGCIBSN. I admit to enjoying fries and a shake on road trips. No ketchup, vanilla, in case you’re wondering. [...]

Read the full article →