I said, “Happy Birthday!”
He said, “You’re the first one to tell me that,” like it was a big honor. “Braeden just said to let him sleep for another hour. He’s almost thirteen and he needs a lot of sleep. I’m glad I’m still a kid and not like Braeden and Emma. My WHOLE JOB is to play.”
I thought about pointing out they’re still kids too but he didn’t really give me the chance to respond. He was off to the races and talking a mile a minute.
That’s my Mark.
He is noisier than his other siblings put together. He makes more messes and has ruined more things. When he was younger he was kicked out of the play area at IKEA. More than once. He’s broken furniture with his light saber and broken the handles off the sliding doors of our van by hanging on them. I tell him I’m going to give him a bill someday of all the things he’s destroyed.
I’m only halfway joking.
For all his misconduct, I wouldn’t trade him for all the gold in Elko County. (my brand new idiom I just made up). He’s bright and funny and enthusiastic beyond all reason. When he laughs his uncontrollable belly laugh, you feel like you’re basking in golden sunshine. He remembers all the witty lines from movies and he’s outgoing and cheery. The youngest child, he’s the dessert: sweeter than a sugar cookie.
He does nothing halfway and that includes love his mother.
When he throws his arms around me and kisses me and tells me he loves me. I know he means it. And I know he’s part of my life’s work.
Because if I can channel all of his energies into a constructive direction, I know I will have accomplished something.
And now, I can't help myself:
I'm telling you, I wouldn't trade all the gold in Elko County.