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Liam is 16!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

We get to watch them grow up.

We get to see them change, metamorphose from wee soft grublets to angles and bones.

Always going for the laugh, that kid, and getting it. Hog Island Audubon Camp, Bremen, Maine, in the fateful June of 2012. Phoebe doesn't yet know she's in love. Liam's already trying to impress the boyfriend to be. I think it's working.

I look at this photo and all I can see is my Dad. "I'm a pie man, m'self." Miller's Fried Chicken, Athens, Ohio.  Don't be fooled by the Styrofoam plates. It's really good. Liam is rarely happier than when he's consuming good food. He's happy a lot. Such fun to cook for, so appreciative. He considers a nice dinner out to be a fabulous birthday present.

His Granny Elsa treated us to The Buckley House in honor of Liam's 16th birthday. Liam ordered Surf and Turf--filet and lobster tail. Lobster! And he loved it!

I found this precious photo of Phoebe's Cross Country friends Alex, Natalie and Hannah working on Liam's hair before his first dance. They're all sophomores in college now, and Liam's got a few more dances under his belt. I drove him to his high school's Homecoming dance last month and decided to wait for him in the parking lot, home being 45 minutes away.  I'd no sooner get home than I'd have to turn around and drive back to pick him up. So I planned to wait for him.  Being (not so) fresh from a 31 hour trip from South Africa, I laced my fingers together across my chest, reclined the seat and fell sound asleep, in best limo-driver style. He texted me around 10:15 to say he was done, bored. Then failed to appear. Twenty minutes later he came vaulting out of the sweaty gym, bouncing like a Superball, begging for another half-hour. Someone pretty had asked him to dance the rest of the dance with her. "Mom. I'm REALLY having fun now! Can I stay a little longer?"

Who was I to say no? He radiated joy, and testosterone. 

Not many people know that Liam loves to draw. If he's not at school, 


 or in rehearsal for a play, 


or vamping,

he's drawing. 

He's a huge Dragon Ball Z fan.

These are all drawn free-hand, no tracing for Liam. I'm particularly impressed with the symmetry, foreshortening, and the hands he draws. 

Lots of action!!

A sentimental favorite. One of the first fancy drawings he did.

Needless to say, some drawing materials befitting his potential will be in his little pile of gifts on November 8.

If you're an Instagram person, and want to see his art as it's produced, please follow Liam at 

That will be good! Very good!

Dude got ahold of my phone today and left his inimitable impression.

Yes, we get to be here to watch him grow up. 

 January, 2014, Canaveral Seashore

To see what becomes of him. So far, so good. He's a long tall drink of water, passing 6' without slowing down. The hair, staying platinum. Surfer boy freckles and pianist's hands. Sometimes you get lucky, and you get a boy like Liam. Happy birthday, best boy. The whole world is in front of you.


As good as your nature, birds, animals, plant, paw-paw, art, food, travel etc.etc.etc. writing is... your family stuff is the BEST! What a treasure-trove of memories this blog will be for both Liam and Phoebe in the years ahead.
And a Happy Day to the birthday-boy!

You must be a very special person to have produced two such lovely, talented children. Whatever it is that you do, I wish others would follow in your lead.

Have a very happy birthday, Liam!

Posted by Anonymous November 8, 2015 at 3:32 AM

I honestly got tears in my eyes reading this, Julie. It's been such a pure pleasure watching Liam (and Phoebe) grow into such beautiful human beings since 2005. Thank you for sharing your wonderful, big love with all of us... and happy birthday to your golden boy. XO

Thanks for sharing your lives with us. I have really enjoyed watching your children grow up. They will definitely be putting their own marks on the world soon.

Your birthday posts always make me cry!

You and Bill have amazing kids. Love what you teach them, love that they are still sponges and thirsting for life.
Does Liam play piano?

Posted by Anonymous November 8, 2015 at 5:09 AM

It has been fun watching your children grow up. Liam is a fine young man. Happy Birthday Best Boy. Keep on drawing.

Happy birthday, Liam!

Posted by Gail Spratley November 8, 2015 at 5:19 AM

OMG - the top picture of Pheebs and Liam as little tykes is beyond adorable. And so fun to see the Hog Island picture...those moments where it all began!

Julie, I marvel at your children - so beautiful and so at ease inside their skin. You are lucky to have them, and they are lucky to have you. Liam's art is amazing!!

Whoa! The unknown artist! (Formerly known as...)
That's pretty incredible.
Thanks for a peak in that window.
Happy Name Day, Liam.

Wonderful post.
Happy Birthday, Liam!
[Very impressed with his artistic ability]

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