About fifteen years ago...

...it got really cold.

No, seriously. The last time St. Louis got below -5 degrees was on Jan. 5, 1999. Or so I read, right before the snowpocalypse hit us between the eyes.

This was highly amusing to me, since 10 a.m. on Jan. 5, 1999 is when I went into labor with my awesome, exhausting, eternally hungry little boy. Of course, he wasn't born until 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 6, but that's because he's just that frigging stubborn. Twenty-nine hours until his head broke my tailbone from the inside and we went for the emergency C-section, folks. I earned that kid.

Ever since, he's been the delight of my life, my partner in crime, and the source of ninety percent of my grey hair. Life with Ian is a rollercoaster, and I never know what's coming next. From the adorable little baby into the sweet, mischievous child to ... we shall skip junior high ... to the smart, wiseass young man he is becoming. I've had to get used to wagging my finger upward and buying six gallons of milk a week. But I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Those of you who watch us on Facebook know that Jimmy and I recently found out we're going to be grandparents. Jimmy's older daughter Mallory is expecting sometime later next year. I find myself thinking of the crazy rollercoaster she's about to board, and I am simultaneously excited and nervous for her. I remember when I was pregnant, a woman who worked at my newspaper told me, "You're about to have such an adventure." I wasn't sure what she meant by that; "adventure" was not in any of the baby books I was reading.

But parenthood is an adventure, led by imaginative, hilarious little imps who make up their own reality as they go. I look at this giant, six-foot-one fifteen-year-old and wonder where my baby boy went. And then he grins at me and shows the dimple in his left cheek, and I see the baby again. He looks more and more like his father with every day that passes, but when he and I stand next to each other before the mirror, our eyes match.

I'm writing this in advance, since I'll be working at about the right time to celebrate his birth. But I know I'll stop for a moment and sniffle, remembering that sort-of-tiny baby I made. It seems so long ago... and yet it was just yesterday.

Happy birthday, kiddo. Your mom loves you.