"Get in there!  That! Right there... that's the good stuff..."

Whoa, that's a big chunk.

Yes it is.  Just look at  it; it's beautiful. 

My time spent as a parent has seen many wonderful moments.
First steps.
First Words.
First time you realize they are better negotiators than you.

I'm surrounded by pale blue walls, super heroes, and Star Wars posters... and the faint smell of a dirty sock that is probably not in the laundry basket.    Lego creations adorn the shelves.
Books and various clothing adorn the floor.

I am hoping that the scratchy thing I sat on, is a crushed goldfish cracker hidden in the Avengers fleece blanket.

(No, it's not my room!  I know what y'all were thinking.)

If one was listening outside the closed door instead of playing Wii like say they were supposed to, the only sounds would be the faint "clink" of spoons colliding.

There's no first like the first time you share the good ice cream with a child.

Until now it's been the Dollar Days special, buried in chocolate sauce and sprinkles to make it something special instead of the cheap stuff.    Put it in a fancy bowl, or better yet, a waffle cone, and they will never know the difference.

But now he knows. 
It's like eating from the Tree of Knowledge; and Diary Queen just won't cut it from here on in.

(You do know that Diary Queen - as good as it may taste - is not real ice cream, right?
Also, that large Blizzard is gonna cost you about 1,000 calories.    So, if I am going treat myself once a year, I am going to get the real thing.)

Here we sit, side by each, our spoons battling to find the next chunk of fudge, like some frozen buried treasure.   As this is the good stuff, those precious nuggets aren't hard to find.

Look at that one!

His face is still flushed from the exertion of shooting hoops out in the driveway.    A past time that has annoyed our neighbour so badly, I wonder if the new For Sale sign on his yard is directly related.   Well, I won't be apologizing for that any time soon.   He goes out there when his noisy sisters drive him crazy  to quiet his mind.   To let it wander freely and soar.
He says it helps his imagination.    Helps still the other noises in his head.

Oh, I get you son.  I get you.

The part about his sisters isn't exactly false though.   They are a force to be reckoned with; not unlike twin tornadoes sweeping through the village with deafening fury and leaving a destructive wake behind.   Seriously, tho.

And we all know how the squeaky wheels often get the oil.   And that is life often with two demanding little sisters;  as the lone boy you're outnumbered and often out-voiced.    So stealing a few quiet moments, even if it is just bonding over delicious ice cream, is important to him.

Me too buddy. 

He's my firstborn.  My baby -- though he is now past my shoulders.   I no longer look down into his eyes; but level.    Eye to Eye.  Hopefully concerning so much more than ice cream flavours.   Hopefully other things I have shared will catch.  Stick.  Buried deep inside the core of you like precious nuggets worth more than their weight in gold.
Hopefully you won't have to dig too hard to find them; when they are needed.

You are eleven, MonkeyBoy!!!
I've been a mom for 11 years; and I am still learning.   Still amazed by this journey I never thought I wanted to travel.

You were my first step; and I am ever so glad my heart had the courage to tell my will to shut up, and with the next deep breath; opened up and expanded my life.  My love.

I am so glad I "got in there!"
That with you, I got "the good stuff"

 It's a big chunk of my heart, my life... maybe even the biggest because it all changed with you.   It's hard and it's noisy and it's dirty and it's never quite knowing what you're doing right, but always beating yourself for what you did wrong.......  And it's beautiful.

Happy Birthday baby.
I know I can't call you that any longer.     Though I suspect you still secretly like it.
On this day, take some advice with the next spoonful:

Hold Close What Your Mama Taught You.

Trust me - I know she's crazy sometimes, dancing around the kitchen and stealing your Captain America mini figure, but she's pretty smart too.   She's learned a few things along the way, and it's more than just good ice cream.

Keep being you.  Keep doing what you love.  Dream Big.  Silence the Noises.  And be still every now and then.    See the Beauty Around You. 

And I promise; the good things in life will come to you.