First there's Hayden. He's 7, going on 30. Too wise for his years, he's trying to find his place in the family. Convinced, as we all were at 7, that he knows everything, the highlight of his day is recess. Born to be a lawyer who sings in a rock band by night, this smart, funny, sensitive boy who could convince you the grass was purple, was born to rock and roll. His commentary about "balloon boy" and his prank with his dad, "Mama, he should know its wrong. When I was 6, I understood everything. Except Mississippi. Whats up with Mississippi??"
Next comes Rhys. An incredibly strong, talented, independent 10-almost 11 year old ready to take the bull by the horns and face the world head on. Stuck in that age we all hated, trying to be his own person, but still needing mom and dad more then he'll ever admit. He's adjusting to no longer being the baby of the family, and I think, out of everyone, he will be the first baby bird to test his wings.
Evan. Behind the bright eyes of 16 year old youth shines an old soul. I look at Evan and I see every hope, every plan and every dream I ever dared to dream at that age. SO full of potential, so vulnerable and strong at the same time. Desperate to not be lumped into the "kid" category like his brothers, sometimes attempting to grow up a little too fast for his own good. Evan is the kid every parent would be proud to call their own. Picking his own path, thorns, uneven ground and all, he is a great kid starving for people to believe in him. And with us he has hit the mother load! I cannot get enough of seeing this kid smile, knowing he's been let in on the grown ups secrets.
I am indescribably proud of all three of these boys. I love them with a fierceness that only a mother could, and would do anything for them.
Shel. McHubby. Someone once asked me how I knew Shel was my soul mate. Two years ago, when I reached out and took his hand, it was as if my heart breathed a sigh of relief, and my soul said "Hello old friend, I've missed you". Supportive, Compassionate, Understanding, Gentle Trustworthy Shel. He has been my best friend for 16 years. My constant knight in shining armour, and my Person. He's got his own personal twist to the Midas touch. From being a minister with an incredible Christian organization to superintendent to car salesman, whatever the job he holds, he touches lives daily. Unbelievably talented, Unbelievably gifted, and unbelievably giving, he makes me feel unbelievably lucky. Doesn't hurt that he's the hottest man I've EVER seen in grey sweats with Angel written across the derriere.
Oh.. and the Bern... can't forget about him. Bernie the Bernese Mountain Dog. My $2000.00 puppy who helped open my eyes to the horrors of pet store puppies, and the puppy mills that supply him. We came across Bern by accident, after going to adopt a dog at the humane society in our city only to find that he wasn't good with kids, Shel, the boys and I out of nowhere were drawn to the pet store. We knew it was wrong. We knew it wasn't what we wanted, but we walked in, and there was Bern, as if he was waiting for us. We took him home, and spent an incredibly horrific 72 hours trying to convince this sick little puppy to live. There is no doubt in my mind that if we hadn't picked Bernie up that night, he would have had the same fate as so many others who wait in pet store windows while people window shop through their cages. Bern becoming a member of the Elliofeene's was as much fate as Shel and I finding each other.