Monday, March 31, 2008

Officially a Teenager: Happy Birthday, Carter!

Here's the problem with having a baby on April Fool's Day: nobody believes you when you call to tell them you're in labor. (Particularly if you've been known to play April Fool's pranks before.) So it should surprise nobody that when my water broke to deliver Carter way back in 1995 and I tried frantically to reach everybody related to me, nobody would take the bait. Granted, he was a full two weeks early and my mom swore that first babies ALWAYS come late, but I'm still a little miffed that it was not until she heard the baby's cry through the phone that Mom actually believed I'd given birth. I had labored for 18 hours. Hard labor. Pushed for 3. He got stuck. He was born upside-down. He broke my tailbone. And yet nobody would believe me until it was all over!

Now here is the real April Fool's prank of 1995: in a previous ultrasound, the doctor told us that Carter was going to be a girl. (!) "Go buy yourselves some pink stuff," he declared. And my "maternal instincts" felt certain that he was right- we were having us a girl! So I truly thought this same doctor was joking when he finally arrived on scene, grabbed a pair of forceps, pulled with all his 6' 4" might, and yanked that stuck little baby right out of me, announcing, "It's a boy!" Yeah, right. And, in the end, I was just happy that his head was still attached to his body after all that tugging and pulling of the forceps.

But I only had to take one look at our little April Fool to be under his spell, and I'm afraid that I'm still well under it. He's just a very cool kid, our Carter. He gets along with everybody. He stops older bullies from picking on classmates. He does most everything he sets his mind to. He can play the piano like nobody's business. How could a mother not adore him?

I think his fifth grade teacher said it best: "Carter is a thirty-year-old trapped in a ten-year-old's body." He is as sharp as a whip, as fun to talk to as any grown-up I know, and chock full of interests and pursuits. He is rarely without a list of goals and has a perpetual propensity for checking out nonfiction books on a wide array of topics from martial arts to learning French in 30 Days to Real Estate Investing. He wants to know everything there is, it would seem. Places to go, things to do- I have no doubt.

So of course our trapped little "thirty-year-old" is thrilled to finally enter adolesence! (He's been claiming he's a teenager since he hit the double-digits, and before that insisted he was a "pre-teen" when he turned eight.) And today it's finally official.

And lest you think I'm some braggart of a mom, let me admit: I know he's not perfect. He desperately needs a haircut but thinks his long hair looks great. He forgets to put the milk away, can be a bit self-absorbed, and pulls terrible attitude when he's short on sleep. He doesn't walk on water, that's for sure, but he's as great a kid as any I know and it's simply the way he came down to us.

So happy birthday, April Fool, if you must grow up. I'm going to go find myself a tissue, but let me leave you with this: slow down! Be a teenager for a while (but lose the eye-rolls, please.) We want to spend as much time with you as we can before you fly the coop and wind up doing karate while speaking French and closing a billion-dollar real estate deal.


Sarah said...

Sounds perfect. I'll take two.

Julie Konchar said...

Even more amazing than the things you said is this fact: It is all TRUE!! I have known that little curly-haired boy since he was new (and Carter, Auntie Junie says you are positively NOT allowed to cut your hair. Anything other than the occasional trim will be most severely frowned upon!) and he really is all that and a bag of chips. You have got to admit it, Kell, even those eye rolls are charming. I am always excited to hear what he plans next, and I have a feeling that we will all be coming to him for medical/financial/rock star advice in the not-to-distant future. Have a fantastic birthday, Carter!!

Rachel said...

Happy Birthday, Carter! You are seriously the coolest 13-year-old I know.

He "pulls terrible attitude when he's short on sleep?" Sounds like his dad! ;)

SpaceyKasey said...

You made me cry with this one. Love you both.

Judy Ryan said...

I STILL believe Carter is an April Fool anomaly. He’s always been too good to be true. As is his amazing Father. And most certainly like his mother, who as a 10-year old girl put her hands on her hips and said, “Do you really think it’s wise to give a 10-year old the kind of responsibility you are giving me?” I remember thinking, “I’m just surprised you don’t have a driver’s license and a college degree already, given what you’ve shown me.”
Two more things to remember:
#1. His hair does look great. Give it up.
#2. Milk left out is a convenient grab for the next person.

Julie Konchar said...

I am back to nudge, cajole, beckon, incite, niggle, goad, provoke, kindle, rouse, spur and otherwise BEG you, for the love of Heaven to write something. Anything. Shopping list, hit list, whatever. I can't take another day of waiting (rather impatiently I admit) for some pic or note about what is going on in your life. I'm feeling like we're back in 7th grade and you have been out sick all week. Waaaaaa!

Kristina said...

Hi Kelly-came across your family blog-such a cute family you and Quinn have-hope you don't mind if I check in every now and then to see what you have been up to!