Today marks Baby C’s 12th trip around the sun. From the moment he was born, he’s been completely different than his brothers. It’s so stunning to me just how different he is.

The twins grew up much like I did: watching football with daddy, playing sports, and inheriting their love of certain things from daddy (like Star Wars, football, and their taste in food). C forges his own path. The only Star Wars I can get him to watch with me is The Clone Wars. If I tell him the Bengals are on, he’ll tell me he’ll be there in a minute…but never comes. Instead, he pops in after the game and asks who won. He’s more interested in playing games online with his friends or going to the park. He’s still in a stage where he only wants to eat chicken nuggets no matter where we go to eat. He does NOT want to try new things…ever. He still asks me to do things with him, but quickly gets bored and goes off to do his own thing.

C’s a very social creature. He craves attention. He hates being alone. Whereas I’m a homebody, C likes to go out and do things. Be with people. I’m not about the life. I don’t like social gatherings or even being out in public. He loves it.

Some of the ways he’s different are just mind-blowing. For instance, the picture here…

He went on the river walk yesterday and took this selfie. He texted it to me with the caption, “look how amazing that is.” While I enjoy the river walk, I’ve never been excited by it. Neither me nor his brothers were ever this excitable. No matter how large or small, C finds excitement in almost everything, and, to be honest, it kinda makes me jealous. How awesome would it be to look at nearly anything in wonderment while thinking, “isn’t this cool?” Sure, it’s kinda peppy and peppy people can be annoying, but I’d rather be peppy and happy than morose and annoyed.

C is still very affectionate. He’s not ashamed to give me love no matter where we are or who may be watching. He still gives me love before bed every night and tells me at least 3 or 4 times that he loves me as I leave his bedroom. It’s like he’s afraid I’m going to forget. At 12, both I and the twins were too cool to show our parents love where anyone else could see. And sometimes, even when people couldn’t see…

Sometimes it’s hard to believe this child is even mine…until I try to help him with his homework or read comments from his teachers. Then I see just how much my child he is. But that’s okay. C may talk endlessly and excitedly about all the things, and sometimes it drives me crazy because he often doesn’t realize he’s told me all the things before, but I wouldn’t change any of it for anything.

I love that C does his own thing no matter what anyone else thinks, and I hope that he can keep that mentality throughout his life.

Happy birthday, sweet, hyper little man. You are loved beyond measure.