Monday, September 24, 2012

Happy Birthday Casey!

Dear Mom,

Your grandson is 29 today. Can’t believe it’s been that long since I gave birth to my first born.

Carrying Casey was easy. I loved being pregnant. In one month I had gained nine pounds. Dr. Muschaney said, “Whoa, you can’t be gaining weight like that.” I felt depressed when I had to go on a diet while pregnant. I still ate a lot, but all good, healthy stuff. The next month I didn’t gain anything. Then I was back on track.

I was due September 1st. Since it was my first pregnancy, Dr. Muschaney didn’t have real concerns when September 1st came and went. I realized the little stinker inside of me had inherited his father’s genes of being late. I joked to my husband, “Maybe I’ll have the baby on your birthday!”

One week went by, then another. By the start of the third week Dr. Muschaney said, “If you don’t have this baby by the 21st, we’ll induce labor." And so it was, they induced. I thought labor was a breeze when I saw the little meter reaching full capacity. What was all the fuss about labor pain? But the inducing wasn’t working and when they took me off it, that little meter went down to 2 (on a scale of 1 to 10). That 2 was ten times as painful as the original 10. Now I knew what the fuss was about and I also knew that I wouldn’t be giving birth “el-natural” as originally intended. I wished for a gun so I could be shot and put out of my misery before I was allowed to have an epidural.

After 42 ½ hours of labor, I gave birth to Casey on his father’s birthday… I felt like I couldn’t have given him a better gift. All the pain, sweat and tears were worth it. Casey was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. Yeah, I guess all mothers say that, but I still think so.

 Casey's looking a little stressed in this picture--he didn't want to come out, remember? And Dr. Muschaney said there was no way I could birth a baby over 7 pounds. Casey was 8 lbs 4 oz, so the little stinker had a rough go of it.

Casey grew up to be an artist. He inherited that gene from his father too. Recently I decided to take a beginner drawing class to see if I was capable of drawing more than stick figures. Casey asked me to post my sketches on my blog… so for his birthday, here they are:

 First class, very first drawing (we were practicing seeing simple shapes)

 First class

First class, close up of hammer

First class, final (a bone)

 Practice at home

 Second class, warming up with simple shapes 

 Second class, blind contour (pad of paper under the table and we followed the outline of the shape - then we did the same thing looking at it - as you can see the one on the top I had my eyes open, but it almost looks just like when I had my eyes closed)

Second class, my (frustrated) drawings

Second class, final

When the artist, Adam Long sketches examples in class, he makes it look so easy… just like my son makes it look easy when I watch him draw.

I remember the first picture Casey drew when he was being evaluated to go into kindergarten. It was a person… a stick figure that five-year-old's draw, only the teacher pointed out all the detail that most kids that age do not include: fingers on the hands, toes on the feet, ears, hair (crazy hair). The drawing was so funny I wanted to bust out laughing, but I stifled it. I remembered sitting across from the teacher with a huge smile on my face. I never dreamed Casey would be an artist based on that drawing, but I do recall the teacher being impressed. It showed what I knew about art.

My memory is a bit foggy, but I’d bet money (and I’m not a gambler) that you’d always find Casey drawing something throughout the years. I couldn’t tell you whether he always knew, or whether he decided when he entered high school that art was his calling. I think he always knew.

I received a call from the high school principal one day that Casey was being evaluated… but not in a good way. He had drawn a picture with blood, guns, and head’s being blown off. Casey’s attention to detail made the drawing rather graphic. A random teacher saw it and had concerns that something was wrong with him—worried that he may be a troubled, psycho kid. They assured me I had nothing to worry about. They told me all of this after the fact. I could have saved them a lot of time had they talked to me first, but I’m sure they figured any mother would defend their child. The art teachers that encouraged Casey thought the whole ordeal was ridiculous. They knew Casey’s inner essence.

Casey went on to earn “Artist of the Year” in his graduating class. Naturally, I was proud and wondered what the teacher, who turned him in that day, thought about this psycho kid. I guess you couldn’t blame the teacher really. Better safe than sorry.

Psycho, Casey is not. A talented creative artist, he is and one who is using his abilities to follow his dream.

Happy Birthday Casey! I love you.


  1. Happy birthday to Casey. I hear the pride in your voice. And now, you are developing your artistic talents...probably the font from which he drew his creativity. You ahve inspired me to sketch something...hmmmm.

  2. Good for you to begin a new art angle....wish I had the same courage...ah, make that talent!

  3. Lynn--

    I am impressed by your sketches. The hammer looks like a hammer, and some of the pitchers are really cool-looking.

    I agree with Linda. YOUR creativity flows in your kids' veins. YOU are the reason why they're so talented and so nice. (Don't give the dad any credit for the good stuff--all the good traits come from the mama.)

    I hope it was a great birthday for your son.

  4. Happy birthday to Casey, and I'm with Linda and Sioux. Not only are you creative, you know how to inspire and nurture creativity. Hope Casey knows that he's lucky, too.

  5. Aww! Happy birthday, Casey.

    And now I have the urge to draw something...

    Greetings from Minneapolis,


  6. HAH! Getting to see those drawings is a real treat! What a BDay gift! Thanks much. You're well on your way, just imagine what your stuff will look like after more than just 4 sessions!

    Here's a quote that poured out onto todays sketchbook page :

    "Twenty nine years ago I came into this world and was called Casey. I am thankful for this existence."

    ...that of course is due to you! I am in your debt!

    And thank you commentors for all the well wishes!!!

  7. What a loving tribute, Lynn! And Happy Belated Birthday to Casey. I think he looks like you in that newborn picture,which is saying a lot, because usually ALL babies look the same in those! :)

  8. Happy birthday to Casey :)

    I like how fun your letters always are, even when dealing with pain, especially labor pain here.
    But that was interesting about Casey's art. Teachers can be such weird creatures sometimes...

  9. Happy birthday to your Casey. The love in your tribute is evident in every word.

  10. I love that story, Lynn. I think it would be a perfect anthology piece for the CS or NYMB series.

    I used to piddle around with acrylics and sketching. Always enjoyed it.

    Critter Alley

  11. Happy Birthday to Casey, and, yes, he was a beautiful baby. I loved seeing your sketches, Lynn, and I think you did great on your final.

    Loved the stories about your talented boy.


    Kathy M.

  12. What a loving tribute, and your drawings are great!

  13. I remember Casey sketching one of the curios I had in my kitchen with all the detail of the tiny objects in and on it when he was hardly old enough to hold a pencil. I was impressed then as I am today of my wonderful, artistic nephew!


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