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Liam is 17!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

It started innocently enough, on November 8, 1999. A momentous day then, as it is today. There was suddenly 7 pound, 2 oz. newborn in a monkey onesie, where there never was such a thing before. 

Before long, he was sitting up and smiling, dialing the Fisher-Price phone, calling up his Grampa Dale with fingers and face.

He'd zoom up and down the extra-wide sidewalk on his trike.

Somewhere in there, he got to give honey to a gentle tamadua. 

He'd go eye to eye with a yellow-throated warbler

and spend long hours on the deck and living room floor, configuring the perfect train track

When trains were all he could think about.

He grew, and so did the bonsai trees he's known all his life. November 8, 2005. He's six. Wish puppy Chet had been in the pic!

November 8, 2016. He's 17. Same trees! Chet: almost 12. 

There was a slightly awkward phase, to be sure...we all have them, before we figure out what to do with ourselves, our hair...wait WHATARETHOSE????

and for figuring such things  out, we look to our big sister, who has always had all the answers. Little did we know then that the ocean would someday call her far, far away.

There would be some T-ball games to endure (those periods in between chili dogs and at-bats). 
But not too many. If it isn't fun, maybe you should be drawing instead.

There would be Harry Potter books to fall into 

and funny faces to make

and your mama's sore neck to rub, whether you wanted to or not. Oh, stop sniveling.

All the while, you'd draw and draw and draw. 

 There would be throwing lessons from Dead-eye Daddy (ongoing to this day)

first days of school, with a tissue pack in your pocket

and long jumps to make

and a sister (who sometimes smelled like peaches) to see off to dances

And of course, there would be a lot of dreaming to do.

You'd be the quintessential American kids.

You'd grow until you took your mama's breath away

just looking up and catching her eye

playing an effete, sparkly vampire 

Or, just as often, from laughing until she choked.

How lucky can you get, to have miraculously produced a pair of comely creatures who tower over you, are working their hardest to outshine you in every way

Liam's latest drawings.

Give him a follow on Instagram, lht_artwork!

and who love each other so fully and sweetly. 

What a delight it is to watch you blossom and excel. 

Happy 17, William Henry Thompson IV! You ROCK. So hard.


Thank you for starting this tension-filled election day with something full of joy and love and wonder and gratitude. You are one blessed mom! Happy Birthday Liam!

Posted by Another Heidi November 8, 2016 at 4:33 AM

Oh, I love this. I've launched 2 kids; watching them slowly catch their stride and then catch the wind...incredible. Your Liam is a very special young man. But, you knew that. Is he off to college next year?

Woot Woot, Liam! Have a splendid 17th birthday and extraordinarily wonderful new year!

Posted by Gail Spratley November 8, 2016 at 5:26 AM

Happy Name Day!
I'm truly AMAZED at your artwork...not surprised, but duly amazed.

Love photo tributes. Done a few myself of our 3 girls & 8 grands! We have a 17 year old tall guy. Off to Boston Thurs college shopping. Hope Liam has the Happiest Day & doesn stray so far away....

I love this tribute. I think of Liam in his Harry Potter days on buses in North Dakota, discussing the books in between eyeing longspurs and scanning fields. He looks like a fun, happy 17, and you give me hope for my little Bell and how she will grow. Election day love. Thanks!

Happy birthday, Liam!

Oh, Julie... you make such beautiful and exceptional children. Whatever it is you've done, you need to write a book about it. I wish that more kids would have turned out like your two.

Posted by Anonymous November 8, 2016 at 6:42 AM

OK. Where's the cape? I kept waiting for the cape. He is beautiful, like everything you and Bill do. As Gibran says, they are arrows traveling full speed into the future (where we many not go, and you and Bill have been the bow that sent them on their journey. I often ponder a world where there are a lot more bows like you and Bill.

Love the collection of photos! He's definitely become a handsome young man with lots of his mom's artistic talent. For future reference, however, you might want to correct the date under today's picture -- while he's now 17, the year is still 2016. Best wishes to you all! JB

Happy Birthday Liam! Get your mom to play, "When I was 17" by Frank she can have a good sniffle...and enjoy every minute of today and the New Liam Year. You are a terrific young man.

Such a gorgeous boy-man. And his art is spectacular, not what I would hang in my den, but good enough to earn him a living if he chooses, IMHO. Really loved watching your baby #2 grow up in these photos. Also think it's wonderful how much your kids love each other. Just wondering where "Liam" moniker came from.

Happy Birthday Liam. What a lovely, happy post. Julie, you and Bill have raised 2 wonderful children.

Happy Birthday to Liam, who must by now realize he will always be the baby in the family! (...I been there, done that), and who's Mother would never intentionally embarrass him, but once-in-awhile it just can't be helped ;-)

It seems that there is no emotion as strong as the love we feel for our own children. I love your tribute to him! Very nice!

Belated birthday wishes to Liam! I met the young fellow at a Washington State Community College event/talk by the Thompson family. Liam and Phoebe were at the book signing table. (Must have been the Young Birder's book.) I thoroughly enjoy these tributes to your children -- they sum up the closeness, fun, respect, interest, and love you hold and nurture and are willing to share openly. That speaks volumes to children, I believe, and your young adults prove it. The artwork is outstanding. Kim in PA

How you and your children lift our hearts! Happy birthday to dear Liam! xxoom.

Gorgeous boy-man indeed. Or how about "just" a gorgeous teenager! A picture of health. Oh the places you'll go, Liam. Cliche, but your life, so much of it, lies ahead of you. I hope it brings you even more joy and love. And you were reared by such amazing parents and are loved by them and your dear sister. A beautiful family from the parents to the sibs to Chet! Happy Belated Birthday!

Thank you for sharing your family with us and Happy Birthday to Liam! Your posts always brighten my day.

oh... you got Liam from did I not get that before?

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