He’s Only Eleven

July 24, 2013 | My Jottings

My oldest grandson Mr. McBoy turned eleven in May. For his gift I gave him the checklist tucked into a card I give to all my grands on their birthdays, which reads something like this:

Dear Mr. McBoy,

Grandpa and I are so proud of you — happy, happy birthday! For your gift, please select three from the following list:

___Spend the night at Grandpa and Grandma’s

___Go on the Timber Twister with Grandma

___Go to Barnes and Nobel for a $25 gift of your choice

___Pick up Edith and Millie’s poop in the front yard

___See a movie with Grandpa and Grandma

___Go out to lunch with Grandpa and Grandma


I think all the children enjoy getting something like this. They don’t all choose the same things, but so far no one has chosen to pick up the dog poop.

Anyway, because of my knee surgery in early June, the redemption of Mr. McBoy’s gift has had to wait a bit, until today. He’ll be coming over this morning and the three things he chose were spending the night, seeing a movie and going on the Timber Twister. I think I can do the first two, but I’m not sure about my knee’s inability to bend very far, and boarding and unboarding the Timber Twister yet. (Click here to see how a ride on the Timber Twister is, although the man in this video goes much slower than we do when we ride.) Mr. McBoy was fine with taking a rain-check on that third item. Or he might switch his choice to picking up poop, who knows?

Sharon recently took these beautiful pictures of Mr. McBoy.

Duluth MN Family Photographer-10

Duluth MN Family Photographer-4

Since both of his parents are so tall, it’s no surprise that he is too, and because of that people often think he’s a teenager. But this wonderful boy is only eleven years old. Yesterday he took his one year-old sister for a walk in her stroller, which they both enjoy. He’s a loving and attentive big brother to Louiser. Most people passing by smile and comment on how sweet it is to see a big brother walking his smiling and waving little sister. But one older man stopped Mr. McBoy on the path and accused gruffly, “You’re a little young to be a father, aren’t you?” Mr. McBoy said, “This is my sister. I’m eleven.”

I don’t know what it was about this situation that made me want to laugh and cry at the same time. I wondered if the older man had some vision issues, because even though my grandson is tall for his age, he doesn’t look to me like he could be a teenage father as this man was inferring. But he is growing up right before our very eyes, and I want the world to be kind to him. I want him to be happy and adventurous and kind and loved and diligent and secure and brave and upright and confident. I don’t want him to experience the pain of peoples’ meanness. I don’t want anyone to break his heart or tempt him to make life-ruining choices. I know how unrealistic putting him in a cave until he’s thirty years old is, but if I could get away with it I would.

I guess the next best thing to a grandboy in a cave is a Grandma’s prayers.


  1. Shari C. says:

    What a fun and sweet grandma you are, Julie!

  2. Just Julie says:

    I try, Shari! Sometimes I’m boring and crabby too. But hopefully not so much that they remember that over the games of Farkle, rides on the Timber Twister, listening to Adventures in Odyssey CDs, and Dunn Brothers’ Wildberry Smoothies! xo

  3. Larry says:

    Tell Mr. McBoy happy birth day for me, and tell him to take an extra ride on the Timber Twister, as I have never done that and it looks like something I would like as well. One last question – so how tall is he now?

  4. Just Julie says:

    I think you’d like the timber twister too! Mr McBoy is almost 5′ 4″ already!

  5. Jessica says:

    Mr. McBoy doesn’t resemble his mom and grandma at all does he? Ahem.

  6. Jessica says:

    Also, he’s taller than me. Not that that’s any great feat. I’ve been startled a couple times walking through our boys’ elementary schools and being eye to eye with some of the students!

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