I still can't remember why. When I was pregnant with our second child, we decided to find out the gender. We were overjoyed to learn we were expecting another boy-a brother for our first born. We decided to name our second son after my father who was only blessed with daughters. His middle name came from my favorite children's book author, Ezra Jack Keats, who was the first person to depict children of color in picture books.
Charles Keats was born on March 15, 2001. I will never forget the first time I looked into his merry eyes. He smiled at 2 days old. He came out ready to snuggle-snuggle like it's an olympic sport.
Mischief is his middle name. He is happy-go-lucky which comes from having a type A older brother and two very unmanageable little brothers. Loyalty is his superpower and faithfulness his artistic talent. He is soulful with a guitar, winsome with a pen, quick to remember the lines of b-rate movie, and can belt out AC/DC. I love this boy who has the heart of a lion and the intuition of an artist.
He napped as I held his older brother and watched the second plane fly into the World Trade Center. As a 6 year old he jumped from a high tower at the playground and broke his foot. We didn't realize his foot was broken til it had mended on its own. His courage inspires me-recently he solemnly walked to the front of a crowded room of people to belt out the lyrics to Hey Jude-on a whim-as his friends looked on in fear and curiosity.
I don't always understand him-like when he stows trash in his dresser drawers or hangs on to the minutest piece of broken metal or otherwise discarded cardboard. He sometimes writes a "B" when he means "D". Every once in a while we have to remind him, "Don't turn into bull dog." He is fine wearing the same clothes for 5 days straight-and does. He has a thing for hats. He is on a first name basis with the guy who owns the used record/game store. He delights in peanut butter and jelly-not much of a meat eater and adores celery. Apples make him itchy. He'll choke down anything I make if he knows it will please me. He is known to talk-a lot especially in the middle of class-and sometimes with a little "hillbilly style" thrown in for laughs. Much to his disgust and embarrassment we lovingly joke that we have betrothed him to a certain southern girl. I believe he is made for greatness. I know all parents think this of their child, but in the case-he really is. Today our sincerely, soulful boy turns 11. He is a delight.