My middlest of children turned 10 today. He’s two full hands of memories, laughs, tears and sports trivia. Here are my top 10 Carsonisms. Carson’s life started in dramatic fashion — arriving via emergency c-section after a prolapsed cord had doctors and nurses go from bedside manner to frantic bedside mutter. They knocked me out promptly so they could save his life, and later I woke up to an empty womb and an empty room. I questioned the nurse who walked by, “Did I have my baby? Was it a boy? Is he OK?” I didn’t get to see the 7-pound-8-ounce wonder for several hours, but when I did it was love at first cuddle. Carson is almost exactly six years younger than his only brother, and the two of them share a room, a sock collection and a love for ESPN. Carson scores when he’s part of Nathan’s social circle, but to keep his party invitation current, Carson buys the teenage boys snocones and makes them laugh. He came up with his own nickname — pronounced CAWson — and the older boys roar when they say it.
Several months ago, Carson set a daily reminder on my phone that simply says “I’m awesome” every night at precisely 10 p.m. Whether this means he is awesome or I am awesome is beside the point. Every night, I have a mini-Carson-lovefest when I hear the bing. I will never delete. Without my knowledge, Carson joined Instagram as jimmer006. Then he also created an account for Deerfield Eagles (his elementary). He described it as “the official Instagram of Deerfield Elementary.” When I found out about his social media frenzy, I gave him a little lesson on asking permission and a vocab lesson on the meaning of “official.” Then I flipped through his posts, which included screen shots of faculty, reminders of class list postings and a photo of an art winner. This boy has a future in the communications world. He’s obviously kinda awesome (at 10 p.m. and around the clock). Carson succeeds at sibling-ry. He makes Nathan’s friends laugh, he finds all of Hailey’s lost items, he makes Lindsey’s lunches so they won’t be late for school (tardiness is not an option for him), and he teaches Lola what the fox says. In short, Carson is our go-to guy. “Carson, will you bring up syrup from the storage room?” “Carson, will you check the mail?” “Carson, will you find my phone?” “Carson, will you remind me to put a reminder on your future phone to remind you that you’re awesome?” Carson loves, breathes, eats and dribbles sports. My husband and teenage son both turn to Carson for sports schedules, quotes, stats and stations. Carson is as true blue as they come. Rise and shout! Carson’s favorite teams are out. When Jimmer and company eliminated themselves from the NCAA tournament, Carson cried. Real tears. I cried watching him — even though Carson’s admiration of Jimmer has cost me a pretty penny. We must purchase every book, DVD, T-shirt and camp admission with Jimmer’s name on it. Which makes Halloween pretty easy. “Which Jimmer jersey are you wearing this year, bud?” When Carson learned about Jimmer’s contract as a youngster declaring that he would play in the NBA, he made his own contract and tacked it on his upstairs bedroom wall. Carson’s goal was to play in the MBA, but whatever.
Our family’s financial strategy includes paying our kids allowance each summer and then they must use it to budget and buy their school clothes. Carson decided his dresser was full, so he elected to spend his money on a Saints toaster — it burns the New Orleans Saints logo on the sides of the bread. When the first day of school came, he simply pulled on an old Jimmer T-shirt and smiled for my camera. But at least he had some impressive toast for breakfast. A few days before Lola was born in March 2012, I was in and out of sleep on the couch trying to manage pre-labor. Carson didn’t want the family to go hungry, so he logged onto Dominoes.com and ordered five pizzas. FIVE pizzas!! Without a coupon!! I “came to” in time to hear the delivery man at the door bring our $82 dinner. Carson loves the Homestead and wanted to spend his 10th birthday in Midway with his Grandpa Bennett who was born on the same day 57 years earlier. Carson smiled all day as we swam in the crater, tossed a frisbee on the leaf-strewn grass and ate ourselves silly. With his mile-long lashes batting, he declared, “This is the best birthday ever!” That’s my CAWson.
When Carson graduated from crib life, he would often toddle out of bed and run to my bedside in the middle of the night. He wanted in, and how could I deny him? This cuddly boy put a smile on my sleepy face each time, and even now he still loves sitting close while we read a book, watch a game or talk about what to post on his now-unofficial Deerfield Instagram.Happy birthday to my awesome, official, Jimmer-loving, mail-retrieving, eyelash-batting third child!