where wildly different is perfectly normal
This one goes to 11
This one goes to 11

This one goes to 11

Today A is 11.

I look at that and try to wrap my brain around it and have a hard time. How is it possible that this kid is already 11 years old? I mean, I was convinced that I wasn’t going to let him live past age 4, so 11 is huge. (No, really, his 4th year was bad. Still can’t believe we survived that, AND we had an infant as well.)


Eleven years of high-intensity awesomeness. Eleven years of second-guessing ourselves. Eleven years of conviction that we were totally screwing up this kid.

Things have gotten better since he was an infant. He sleeps now…wait…no, he doesn’t. At least now he doesn’t get me up for the party. And he eats better than he…crap, no to this one too. He also sits…damn! Actually, he hasn’t changed much in the last 11 years, just gotten taller and louder and funnier. Still has incredible blue eyes and a smile to light up a room.

We’re looking at only seven years left with him before he goes out into the world and kicks its ass. That’s just heartbreaking, because in the last four months the kid who has made it his life’s work to drive us batshit crazy has gotten fun. Since leaving traditional school and being allowed to march to the beat of his own drummer homeschooled, A has started to grow into himself. His sense of humor is blossoming, and we’re pleaseGodohpleaseGod starting to see maybe the start of the beginnings of some maturity. It’s as though the parts of him that were lagging behind are running to catch up to his age and mind. You have no idea how wonderful that is, for everyone in this house. Plus the jokes are awesome.

I love this child, so very much. He is the one who made me a mom, who forced me out of my comfort zones, who teaches me daily what it means to step back and trust. I know he’s going to do amazing things, and I can’t wait to see how he turns out.

Happy birthday A. You are one helluva kid.


  1. Anna

    First, Happy Birthday to your 11 year old! Yeah!
    and Second, Yeah your going to see a whole sweet side of your homeschooler. Its like they take a while to detox from institutionalized schooling, and have this chance to exhale and envision gardening or taking apart stuff to see how it works or read what They want to read instead of what’s the assigned reading. You’re gonna dig it. Enjoy! You can do it!!
    Sincerely, Anna

    1. Jen

      He’s a different kid out of school, and even away from his brother. But I did have to finally lay down the law: you can work here, you can work at school, but you’re going to work. Your choice. 😉 He’s working better now. LOL

  2. cocobean

    I’m so glad to see you knocking wood and stating that A seems to be more himself… It’s always horrible when you see something suck the life out of your child and you worry they are broken forever. 🙂 Apparently, A bounces and bounces back!

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