• Has increasingly started using phrases like "oh my gosh," and "what the heck!?" and "maybe later" in daily conversation. Which shows he's listening to his mother.
  • Said to me in wonder the other day, on our walk to school, after pausing for a moment with his chin in the air, "I heard birds talking about me."
  • Participates in games of "horse and buggy" at birthday parties with extreme gusto, even when no one else is really into it. 

One of the homes on our street appears to belong to a private music tutor, and most afternoons there appear to be some major lessons going down. Usually it's a piano or flute melody coming at us from the open window in the living room, but the other day it was a drum solo. We're talking real good beats. Huck started poppin' and lockin,' and together we robot-danced all the way down the street till we got to the front door and reluctantly went inside.

I never want to forget the time when Huck ran up to me to request that I give him back the imaginary cowboy hat he'd asked me to hold for him fifteen minutes earlier, and the way that, for a second there, I could actually see it on his head as he galloped away. 

This story: One afternoon a few weekends back we staged us a massive organizational operation, with Brandon in the basement storage paying cardboard Tetris and I upstairs, surrounded by piles of coats and other miscellaneous bits (spare pillow cases. how have we accumulated so many random mismatched spare pillow cases?). Huck floated between the two of us, up and down the stairs, overseeing the whole ordeal and making sure we stayed on task. At one point I stopped for a break and picked up the book I was reading.  Huck announced he was going to go downstairs and hang with dad. I texted to Brandon, "Huck's on his way down!" (We live in a 3 story building that is near impossible to get lost in) and then waited for the "He's here!" text, which came and was followed quickly by the, "He's going back up!" text, which was then followed quickly by Huck's footsteps outside the door, the announcement that he was going back downstairs, followed by my dutiful text to the downstairs parent. I went back to reading. Three pages later and I realized it'd been a while and I still hadn't heard anything. So I texted Brandon again, "is he there yet?" then listened intently for the sound of footsteps in the stairwell. Finally I got the text, another page and a half later. "He made it." I grinned to myself as I pictured Huck playing whatever game it was he'd invented for himself on the stairwell on his way down. This is the simplest and silliest story, terribly mundane and uninteresting, and yet all that afternoon I was so aware of the weighty significance of that day, those moments, Those text messages, those stairs. This is it. Our family. Our time as parents. Huck's boyhood. Team Holbrook. Something like that, I can't really explain it.

But the other day, Huck had his first dentist appointment.

We decided I'd go first, so Huck could see what it was like and have time to feel confident about it. "We just want him to get used to the idea with this visit," the dentist said. "We can do a proper check up next time." So I sat myself on the green reclining chair with Huck propped up on my lap, and the dentist set about checking and cleaning. As Huck peered cautiously over at me with my mouth full of instruments and gloved fingers, and as I raised my eyebrows at him comically and gave him squeezes of reassurance, it occurred to me that this was a rather Mom kind of thing to be doing. I hadn't intended to get a check up that day, it was only supposed to be Huck's appointment, and yet, there we were. Every now and then the dentist would turn to Huck to explain what he was doing, or what a certain tool was for, to which Huck would snap his head to the side and grin his patented "shy and excited but trying to restrain myself" grin. 

Then it was his turn. I asked him if he might feel brave enough to just sit in the chair to see how it felt. He did. Next I asked him if he felt brave enough to open his mouth for the dentist, just a bit. He did. Then the dentist asked if he could clean one tooth. Just one tooth. And then he could see how Huck felt about things and go from there. Huck thought this over carefully. It seemed rational enough. The dentist showed him his motorized toothbrush with the special cheetah head, which Huck thought was rather clever. Slowly he nodded his head yes, and the dentist got to work cleaning that one tooth--just the one.

When it was over, after Huck had registered his extreme shock--his expression quickly going from brave to concerned to straight up insulted--the dentist pulled the brush back and said, "That wasn't so bad, was it? Shall we do the rest now?" Huck folded his hands in his lap rather thoughtfully and said politely yet firmly, "No. But thank you." 

The dentist halted in surprise, his hands held aloft as though expecting to keep going. "Fair enough," he said after a moment. And then he handed us our goodie bags full of Dora stickers and dental floss and sent us on our way.

Huck, ya turkey.
Your mama sure loves you.


  1. He's so cute! I need a little boy too!

  2. SO adorable!


  3. you capture it so well. these vignettes are the sweetest.

  4. beautifully written, love the little anecdotes... simple but meaningful memories to remember! :-)

  5. oh gosh. I can't even stand the cuteness going on.
    Also I can't believe how much Huck has grown up since I started reading your blog!
    And I love seeing where my son will be when he's Huck's age! <3


  6. My favorite mama moments are those that no one else would look twice at. They don't involve birthday parties or vacations or holidays. Just afternoons of nothings that mean everything.

  7. visiting dentist will be the scariest moments in my life..forever! i just hate dentists' face as if they will eat me up.yet,one of my sister is into dentistry now.going to hate her..haha

    xo joselovincolors

  8. OMG what a doll!

  9. Thanks for the reminder of how important each small thing is. Can't beat it, eh. Even on these cold winter days when we've been stuck inside all week, and things are looking grim as far as how much peanut butter and bread is left. At least there is still left over chocolate Santa's, and my 3 babies who are always up for a cuddle. :D

  10. I love reading those moments. It's all those little stories that you never want to forget, moments that would otherwise be forgotten. Thanks for sharing them, they remind me to be more were, to take note.


  11. Gosh Huck. What a charmer. Please do share how you managed to teach him how to be so polite!

  12. how beautiful, "this is it".

  13. You're a great writer. Thanks for sharing. :)

  14. Hahaha the best reply to a dentist I've ever read!

  15. Hahaha I love these stories. Love that you're recording them here for looking back later!

  16. Oh this story made me tear up. You clearly love that kid to pieces. He's gonna grow up to do great things one day.

  17. Such an adorable little boy! He reminds me my little one! They grow up so fast! Unfair! Your blog is really cool!!!


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