Background Switcher (Hidden)

Liam is 15! What Shall We Get Him?

Saturday, November 8, 2014

You've given me a list, written in curlicues and the microscopic frippery of a teen-aged boy, of some things you want for your birthday. It's pretty modest, for an about-to-be 15-year-old. Shoes. Sunglasses. Food. A phone upgrade.  A movie. A large box of sure-to-be sugary cereal of your choice. A full-body stretchy suit that covers your head and face, that you can put on to scare people. Wait. What?? Your essence, in that one line. Always surprising.

And I suppose we will go out today and buy some things, and there will be cake. It's a birthday, after all, and 15 is special. You are special.

But there's nothing we could buy for you that even approaches what you already have.
You have a family who loves you and will always catch you should you fall. Which you won't.
You have a big strong daddy who will always be your Hotdog Brother.

You have a mama who speaks sternly and evenly to you and makes you use your fork and pick up the stuff that falls off you onto the floor like autumn leaves fall from a maple. Who helps you remember all the little things you need throughout your day, and loves you to the moon and back, and is going to make an excellent, vigilant driver out of you if it kills us both. 

Oh, the places you'll go! Far down East, at least as far as you can get and stay dry.

How many of your classmates have seen a real lighthouse

 or run like a banshee along its walkway? 

Run, Forrest, Run!! This is the Marshall Point Light in Tenants Harbor, famed for being the place where Forrest Gump turned around to go home, having run as far east as he could. 

There's a great big present, right there. 

How many boys do you know who have a sister who'd come into his classroom and organize his desk each morning all through elementary school? There's a gift.

You're doing really well without her now. That's a gift she gave you, too.

You may not fully grasp it, but this little piece of coastline is yours, too. 

The tides come in and out over your rocks.

The snow settles gently in your spruces.

The sea crawls halfway up your big boulder, then stops. 

Ravens, eagles and crows flap over your seagrass, and plovers skitter on your flats. That's a gift.

When your mind drifts off, you can think about this place. You can always come here and look out over the bay.

There's nothing we could buy that gets close to that. A piece of this wonderful world.

Before you know it, it will be time for you to think about where you will go. You've got four more years in the cradle of home, but you will go, too. You probably aren't yet feeling a need to leave. But you will. You watch your sister and know you can do it, too. 

So happy birthday, wonderful boy. Though at Halloween there was still some dispute about which of you is taller, you will finally look down upon Phoebe when you see her at Christmas. You're still elongating, expanding; stretching; your brain is still rearranging its neurons as they steep in the heady hormonal stew. And we get to be there for your metamorphosis, which is every bit as wonderful as the butterfly's. 

You, young man, are loved. Happy birthday, Liam. Go forth and be FIFTEEN!!!


OMG! I wish I had a magic wand to wave and bestow you with every writing award America has to offer, or at least to make every American read you! So powerful!
And Happy 15th to Liam... but next year ask for a Tesla ;-)

Oh, my! You always manage to somehow make me grin and cry at the same time! Well done, Julie!

Posted by Anonymous November 8, 2014 at 4:09 AM

Just. Wonderful.
He already has the best gifts!
.. except for a JEEP of course.

Aww shucks Cyberthrush. Just share it through yer channels. Because sharing is caring. :)
Me too Mimi. Bawww. Ha. Bawww.
Raymond, you're too kind. We will accept delivery of a fire-engine red JEEP whenever you are ready to send it. With roll bar please. He's been asking about speed and what it's like to go "pedal to the metal."

Ahhh....all the feelings Julie inspires

Posted by judith fisher November 8, 2014 at 5:28 AM

What a lovely birthday present to Liam, and what a gift for him to know how very loved and cherished he is. THAT is even better than a full body suit.

Happy birthday Liam! Some day you will understand what a gift your mom's words are to all of us!

That last photo makes me (sniff) all teary. The look on Liam's face...priceless.
Happy birthday to Liam.
Have a wonderful wonderful life ahead of you!

Deep love emanates from your words and these images. Now about that "bekini" he asked for...what size, I wonder?

I enjoyed your words and thoughts about Liam... And got such a kick from his list and the little pictographs. Does he write graphic novels?

I went back and looked at posts from 2006 to remember how young Liam was when you first started blogging. Amazing to watch him grow up to become this wonderful, tall, bright, funny young man. He has such love that lifts him on wings he will someday fly off on. Happy birthday to your 15 year-old Liam!

Once again Liam, Happy Birthday.

You really do have a cool family.
You share your birthdate with about 233 million other people but I doubt many of them are as lucky as you.

I'm hoping that our first grandchild who was born last Saturday, on your birthday, is also one of the lucky ones.

Liam, just remember - speed is expensive. Expensive to buy, operate, insure and repair. Not to mention the speeding tickets.
So lay off the pedal to the metal.


I'm just all gushy thinking what he will be like and where he will be and what he will be doing fifteen years from now. They will go by much faster than these beloved 15, so hang on for the ride Julie and family!
Happy belated birthday Liam!

Bawling my eyes out. This is so, so lovely. And makes me feel terrible about having lost it on my own girl (12) and boy (9) who were bickering AGAIN this morning. I will go give them big hugs now. xox

Aw, Lindsey,

Just because I don't write about losing it on Liam and Phoebe, and having locked them in their rooms for an hour at a time when they were younger so they'd quit fighting, doesn't mean it didn't happen!! My life is a runny, moldy wheel of Brie. The blog is Velveeta. Don't be so hard on yourself. Big hugs! jz

[Back to Top]