My Buddy


A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.
– Bernard Meltzer


One of my best friends is turning 9 today.


He is a character–funny, perceptive, bullheaded, complicated. He is a reader; tests reported that he started third grade reading at an eighth grade level. He is creative, seeing a rubber band, a pretzel rod, a pile of Legos, and a washer as a sculpture waiting to happen. He is peaceful, a favorite with children of all ages who feel safe in his company. He is intuitive, known to leave a group gathering and note, absently, “That dad said he didn’t mind all the noise, but I think the noise actually really stressed him out.” He is a brother who thinks his sister hung the moon and filled the sky with stars. He is more experienced and versatile than he knows. He will be a surprise to himself as the decades unfold.

For me, he is my boon companion. Perhaps it’s because I nursed him so long; perhaps it’s because there’s magical programming in our genetics; perhaps it’s that we’re innately connected by the universe. But many times it’s as though we’re extensions of each other, as is evidenced by the fact that we start and end each day in each other’s arms. I like to hug him. I like to talk to him. I have loved watching him grow from Wee Niblet to Dinko Junior to Paco. Currently, he has a feeling deep inside that his Big Boy name might be Thor.

One can hope.

What I know, more than anything, is that giving birth to Paco has made me less alone in the world. I can look at Byron and our girl and most of my friends and family and admire them, see them clearly, appreciate them, respect them.

What an exceptional joy, however, to have been given someone in my life who seems inside my skin with me; whose heart beats sympathetically with mine; whose brain, in all its irrationality, makes perfect sense; whose sensitive nature makes him uniquely attuned to nuance and simultaneously ripe for hurt. I know this kid because I was this kid.

He is an extraordinary gift.







23 responses to “My Buddy”

  1. Maxine Avatar

    What a lovely love that abounds to and from a grand child and all around.

  2. Jeni Hill Ertmer Avatar

    This was a stellar birthday greeting from you to Paco -and about him! I’ve come to the conclusion, in my own life anyway, that there is a special connection between mother and sons. Although my younger daughter and I frequently complete each others sentences -particularly in reprimanding the grandkids -I think that is because I am around them all the time, as she is, and in that connection, we do tend to think very much alike. But my son? He and I are both much more line dealing with the sentimental aspects of life, for openers. My girls accuse me of playing favorites and that my favorite is their brother but it really isn’t that way as it’s just that he and I do “feel” things much more the same than do my girls with me. (Actually, it’s only my older girl who tries -frequently -to play the favoritism card with me.) I have to say too I loved the photos you posted and especially the one of Paco in the onesie with the little headpiece on! So photogenic -both kids are -with those beautiful blue eyes! Happy Birthday, Paco. I hope I’m still around for a good many years to come to watch you as you continue to grow into a teen and then, an adult!

  3. Jenn @ Juggling Life Avatar

    How wonderful for both of you.

  4. Candice Avatar

    This was so sweet , so true.
    What is that special sweet bond between grandmothers and their grandchildren ?
    He is a beautiful little boy .. lucky you ! Lucky family !

    Thank you for your comment on my blog today 🙂 I hope you stay around. besitos,
    The Mad Housewife 🙂

  5. Jess Avatar

    Lovely. Just lovely. I felt that way about my Will. Except that I had to give him back, which makes me cry sometimes. Now he’s a hulking teenager and he’s brilliant and amazing but I hardly know him anymore. 🙁 I’m glad you get to keep Paco seeing as he’s yours ‘n stuff.

    Also? I thought that the red hat in one of the snowier pics said “Dr. Lubb.” I was kinda disappointed when I figured out it was actually “Duluth.”

  6. kmkat Avatar

    He painted his TOES? Now that, my friends, is an artist in the bud. Happy birthday, Paco!

  7. logo™ Avatar

    Awwa, happy birthday to Paco, aka. Thor.
    Hard to believe he is that old already, good grief, how long have we been reading each other’s blogs??
    So glad you have each other!

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      I know. Paco was three when I started this blog…

  8. Lil Avatar

    A lovely tribute to your son. Happy birthday Paco.

  9. Meg Avatar

    How wonderful for both of you that you are so simpatico! I always celebrate my kids’ birthdays for myself, too, because I feel so lucky to have such extraordinary creatures in my life. It sounds like you do, too!

  10. pam Avatar

    Happy birthday to that lovey son of yours. Your children are a delight. The photos are really warm and entertaining and so much fun!

  11. Green Girl in Wisconsin Avatar

    Many Happy Returns to Paco the Great!
    I still am amazed he saved ALL his Turkey allowance to buy a video game system upon returning home.

  12. Friko Avatar

    I take it the teeth have grown to fill the gap?

    Lucky you, dear Jocelyn; hold him close but don’t smother him. And don’t hang all your heart on him, leave a little bit for yourself, so it can grow back to full-size when he does what even the best loved children do: wave you goodbye with not a care in the world and hardly a backward glance.

    If you get it right, he’ll love you forever.

    Jocelyn, I would like you to come over and read my post of today, please. I wrote it very quickly.

  13. secret agent woman Avatar

    A very, very happy birthday to your buddy!

  14. Mother Theresa Avatar

    Hey, Paco has the same birthday as my mom! That was the most beautiful birthday post, Jocelyn. He must be an amazing kid…but how could he not be, with an amazing mom like you. Happy birthday, Paco! 🙂

  15. lime Avatar

    a belated happy birthday to this young heart cleaved from your own. many blessing to paco!

  16. Vicki Avatar

    What a lovely post. Happy Birthday to your wonderful boy.

  17. kirsten Avatar

    big love to you….that amazing boy….and the rest of the pj tribe….

  18. patois Avatar

    I get such a sense of him big as life through those photos and, then, through your words. Lovely. Happy birthday to you and your buddy.

  19. chlost Avatar

    A wonderful birthday tribute! My youngest son apparently shares his birthdate of January 17th (with Ben Franklin, I believe). Best wishes to your Paco and to you….birthdays should also celebrate the mothers, as well from my point of view.

    I also have the theory that the most effective mark we can make on this world is to raise good sons who will be good men in this world. You are definitely doing so.

    Love your photos, as well. They make me want to hug him from here.

  20. Chantal Avatar

    What an absolutely beautiful post Joselyn! I am in tears here. Beautiful. Paco was one cute little baby. I just want to hug him. I feel that way about my boys. Each in their own way. It is a beautiful thing.

  21. Monica Avatar

    happy belated birthday to Paco, Thor in the coming… What a wonderful tribute to him and to your mother-son bond

  22. Kathryn Avatar

    Jocelyn, I’m lucky enough to be the mother of both a girl and a boy, like you. Each are special in their own way, but the boy I find to be particularly gallant and loving. I know how you feel about your boy. I really do. What a beautiful, lovely child.

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