DIY*
Hams on Tour

Nine

When someone else gets hurt -- be it a skinned knee or bruised feelings -- Ezra feels it. And I mean feels it, physically, to the point of tears. He then rushes to fix things, to make things feel better. Ice packs, Band-Aids, some candy, a dollar, a promise to always be your friend. 

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His best friend in the entire world is a little girl who lives up the street. We took a trip to the Poconos this weekend for his birthday and he spent almost all of his birthday money to buy her something from the gift shop. He likes buying presents for people. "I feel their happy," he says. 

One time she went away and brought him back a snow globe. He accidentally dropped it on the bus and it broke. His heart shattered right along with it. "It was so beautiful," he wept into my shoulder.

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He's stopped ordering off the children's menu (unless there are corn dogs; he really loves corn dogs) because he wants to eat things that look more like what he sees on cooking shows. (Obviously he's a big Masterchef Junior fan.) Helping with dinner isn't enough anymore, he wants to makes things all by himself, start to finish. He rummages around in the fridge, looking for inspiration, inspecting the avocados and asking if tomatoes taste good with eggs, or if there is such a thing as a cucumber taco. He documents and illustrates his creations and ideas in highly detailed recipes (though he lets me sort out the details sometimes, as he comes up with a lot of ideas for pies and soups that I end up reverse-engineering for him a bit). 

He doesn't want to be a chef when he grows up, however. He wants to be a writer, albeit a writer who cooks for his family (which may or may not include the little girl who lives up the street). He wants to be a writer because I'm a writer. "I want to be just like you when I grow up," he told me.

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His sense of justice and fairness is strong. He won't watch movies where anyone dies. No one is allowed to mess with his brothers, except him, sometimes, since Noah can be mean and Ike can be annoying but he will do anything and everything for them, whenever it really counts. He feels their pain or distress on an especially high level. 

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I used to worry what would happen to such a gentle, empathetic soul out in the harsh real world, especially growing up as a super-duper sensitive kid myself. But at nine, Ezra has boundless self-confidence and optimism. He loves to try new things (foods! violin! go-karts!) and meet new people, new friends. He is comfortable in his own skin, in being who he is. And why wouldn't he be?

"I'm the kind kid," he says, when asked to describe himself. "It's good to be the kind kid."

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Comments

c

I am sobbing now. Happy birthday to that sweet boy.

Darra

So precious.

Becky

Sounds like the world could use a lot more Ezras in it.

Audrey

What a beautiful child you have Amy. Happy Birthday sweet Ezra!

Chris

You really need to dust your blog. My damn allergies are acting up again.

Keep being the kind kid, Ezra. We need it. <3

Joanna Moore

Happy birthday Ezra! Your kids/stories make me want my kids to be older so I can see what kinds of people they will be...but not really because they grow up too fast!

LMo

We should all be so lucky to raise a child like that. Maybe if I keep reading this blog I'll figure out the magic of bringing up a kind, thoughtful, confident kid. That's just about the greatest achievement I can imagine.

Chi

What a sweetie!! Sending Ezra all the love and squishy birthday hugs (if he says it's okay :)). <3

KLC

I raised one of those too- it's wonderful and heartbreaking sometimes to have a kind kid.

Happy Birthday Ezra, you do you!

Jean

A truly beautiful soul....always be comfortable with who you are Ezra...and happy Birthday beautiful boy!

Jessica

I second what LMO said above. This is all I want out of life- to raise an Ezra

Tiffany

Oh, the weeping.

Sue W

Aaaaand I just fell even more in love with your nine year old. Sixty years isn't that much of an age difference, is it?! Happy Birthday Mighty, Mighty, MIGHTY Zah!

Sue W

FIFTY years age difference. Good lord! Like that's not bad enough!

Erin

THAT KID. Man, what a great kid. Happy birthday, Ezra!

Nicole

The kind kid. That's awesome! Kind kids are the best!!

Lori

Well done, Mom. I hope my girls grow up to be the kind kids.

Gwen

Kids are incredible. What an amazing little dude. Happy birthday!

Rachel

Happy Birthday Ezra!

elsiroomom

Oof. Right in the heart.

Karen

Required reading for all moms-to-be who are scared of having a little boy. They are wonderful!

Stephanie

Happy Birthday to the sweetest boy. I hope my kind, eternally optimistic 8 year old will find your Ezra one day. They would be such a good match. (I sometimes don't know how to deal with all the optimism. She's behind on some things in school because she's a "thinker" and my husband threatened to not have her go trick-or-treating if she doesn't get her classwork done. She was initially very upset at the prospect, but then said, if I can't go trick-or-treating, I'll still have fun passing out candy. That's fun too - seeing everyone's costumes. Seriously - what do you do with a child who always looks on the bright side of things? Enjoy them and appreciate them, I suppose).

Amy A

He is a treasure. May he never, ever change. Happy birthday, Ezra!

Jessica

He is the best. Happy Birthday, Ezra!

Katie H.

What a sweet kiddo! The world needs more Ezras, methinks.

Heather Evans

All of your kids are awesome and amazing, but I have a strong suspicion Ezra has always been my favorite ;)

LPC

He's lovely.

And, as the mother of a gay son, I can't help but say, please leave room in your heart and make room in your discussions with him for him to grow up and fall in love with a man.

I'm sure you do. Just, the sensitive ones who love their best girl friend sometimes then fall in actual love with men:).

M

Look at what a beautiful environment you created for this sensitive artist to be free to be who he is! You're a beautiful mother, it shows in your radiant kids. : )

Janice Barnett

This is a young man any parent would be proud to call him my son. We need more children like Ezra.

Nancy

We need more Mighty Ezras in the world! Thank you for being the kind kid, Ezra, and thank you Amy, for raising him to be the kind kid!

Heather Laura Clarke

Ezra is a treasure!

Fraulein N

That is really beautiful. I'm glad he has a mother who appreciates and nurtures his kind, sensitive soul. We need more like him in the world.

And I am totally not crying at my desk right now.

Katie

Oh my gosh. My baby is 7 months old and I hope he grows up to this kind!

reenie

Happy Birthday, young man!

Dori

Happy Birthday, Ezra! Keep on being the kind one. :)

Stacy

And now I'm crying....go, Ezra! You be you, buddy, and we'll all be better off for it.

Amalah

@LPC YES! Our boys will love who they love who they love. All boys (and girls) should love who they love who they love.

Jen

Oh, buddy. It *IS* good to be the kind kid. What a wonderful little soul. <3

Liz

Ezra is a mensch. I’m glad to be living in a world where he exists

Anna

Oh, Ezra is seriously the best!

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