Today is a day I love. My second baby’s birthday. He’s 12 now, so I’m not really supposed to refer to him as my baby anymore. But he totally is. I love him to pieces, and this poem brings a picture to my mind from when he was tiny. Enjoy!
by Robert Louis Stevenson
What are you able to build with your blocks?
Castles and palaces, temples and docks.
Rain may keep raining, and others go roam,
But I can be happy and building at home.
Let the sofa be mountains, the carpet be sea,
There I’ll establish a city for me:
A kirk and a mill and a palace beside,
And a harbor as well where my vessels may ride.
Great is the palace with pillar and wall,
And steps coming down in an orderly way
To where my toy vessels lie safe in the bay.
This one is sailing and that one is moored:
Hark to the song of the sailors on board!
And see on the steps of my palace, the kings
Coming and going with presents and things!
I remember his block cities.
I remember his thick mop of white hair and the tooth hanging by a thread because of that collision with brother. I remember when they spent half their days wrestling in the middle of the family room.
I remember that he kept quiet those early days, when big brother had so much to say.
But then we dropped his brother off at preschool and I opened the gift of time with just him–my little second-born–the summer before little sister arrived. Just him and me and 2 puppy dogs at home, for a few hours a couple days a week.
He never stopped talking to them, or to me, and I couldn’t stop laughing at the surprise. My silent son transformed into a chatterbox, like it was there all the time.
A little outdoorsman, he roamed our fenced backyard, collecting rocks and sticks and acorns. In constant conversation with Bailey and Bear, he climbed up and down the backyard hill, which was just the right size for tiny boys to conquer.
I remember the days when it rained, and he stood just a couple feet high on our soft blue living room sofa. He built towers out of chunky Mega Blocks, taller than his head. He’d build it up to watch it fall. Each crash sent the puppies running away fast, and little man doubled over laughing so loud. And then he did it again, and again.
I have no idea why they kept returning to his side. Maybe to them, it looked like adventure. Or maybe just like me, they longed to be close to him.
I remember him building airports and castles and pirate ships from those blocks. He laid out whole cities with coordinated colors for each building. Then he vroomed his little Mega car up to one called Dad’s Office.
He was always saying, See what I made, Mom? And I saw.
Some days I hated that huge bag of Mega Blocks our babysitter brought as a gift. The boys never went pro at cleanup, so there were always pieces hiding out in corners, and I was still so tightly wound.
We’ve come a long way in a decade.
I’m so grateful for the days of block cities. And for days like today, when it’s right to remember how far we’ve all come.
Write about something you can be happy doing at home.