tall tales

from the gallagher five.

TWELVE. February 20, 2015

Filed under: Silas — gallyfam @ 4:33 pm

our oldest son, silas, reached the ripe old age of 12 last month.  pretty incredible.  even now as i sit here to blog about our si-boy, our trail-blazer, several “firsts” for him (& for our family) come to mind.  just in the past handful of weeks, silas has been trekking across uncharted territory — the exclusive privilege for the first-born child (and the only child, i suppose!).


back in january, silas invited a handful of new (and a couple old, faithful) middle school friends to join him for a paintball birthday adventure.  we took 7 friends with our family down to a new paintball facility in Denver.  i think all of the 6th graders were both excited and fairly apprehensive, as none of them had ever actually played before.  they all came dressed in layers, hoping to minimize the pain & welts that are infamously attached to paintball legends.  i daresay, they were NOT disappointed!  they discovered, it DOES hurt, but they bravely withstood the pain and walked out proudly, hours later, with the welts battle wounds to prove their courage.


the paintball crew.  silas is in the black hoody, 3rd from the left.

a couple weeks ago, we had some dear friends over for dinner.  not long after they arrived, silas, who had been tubing near the neighborhood with a friend, came in crying hysterically.  it was a distinct cry that screamed (literally) of intense pain; a cry we don’t often hear from silas.  we rushed him to the ER, after our friends graciously offered to stay home with lincoln & tate.  the x-rays confirmed that silas had indeed broken his collar bone… silas’ 1st broken bone.  he has been instructed to refrain from physical activity for 5 weeks to let the bone heal.  we are grateful that he doesn’t need surgery or even physical therapy.  but it is heartbreaking to watch your children suffer, isn’t it?  the first broken bone is one rite of passage that comes upon us without warning or a countdown.  i’m glad to say we’re on the other side of it, and silas is healing nicely, although it is killing him to have to sit out of PE!



his final “first” is happening TONIGHT.  silas is participating in his first “LOCK-IN” — a privilege extended to middle school SCY students.  our new hire for SCY (the non-profit youth organization that phil & i have run together for the past 13 years), rachelle, and a great group of adult volunteers are willingly giving up an entire night of sleep to hang out and play with the students, ALL night long.  no sleep required.  these adults are saints for torturing themselves like this — and i’m so grateful that silas is on the receiving end of such amazing selflessness this year.  i hope he has a blast with his friends and makes memories to last for years to come.  it’s a little bittersweet that his first lock-in experience is our first year NOT going as well, but i know we planned it that way on purpose.  it is truly a gift to have other adults come alongside and care for and take an interest in our children.  i believe that we can do MANY things as parents, but i will embrace anyone who chooses to spend time with my sons, affirming their worth & value and building their confidence, especially as adolescents.



so, silas.  who is he as a 12-year-old?  he is much the same as he has been all through his younger childhood years.  he is a smart and silly boy, who likes to both play with and pick on his younger brothers.  he has a big heart, but he isn’t much for sappiness or expressing the sentiments that he clearly feels on the inside.  he still is, and has been for years, my only son who doesn’t like to say, “i love you” at bedtime — or anytime.  we’re okay with that.  it’s just a thing, and we know he loves us all deeply.  he is a thinker and a listener — always listening.  he likes to be in the know.  he is more extrovert than introvert and is a fiercely loyal friend.  he has been playing percussion in school, which is fun since phil is an excellent drummer. he is also excited to start track in march and plans to run the “Bolder Boulder” once again over memorial day weekend, much to my delight.  he straddles the worlds of “boy” and “young man” well — playing pokemon cards with his brothers and laser tag with his friends.  he is responsible and has a good head on his shoulders — a wonderful babysitter in training.


one of the things that we have enjoyed doing as a family lately has been watching the Cosby Show.  growing up in a family of girls, i have to admit that i spent much more time noticing how cute rudy was, being annoyed by vanessa, and idolizing denise, probably like every other girl in America.  watching these shows with our boys now, especially having started from the beginning of season 1, it is intriguing and entertaining to watch THEO.  i’m drawn to watching cliff & claire as they parent their only son, and our boys think that theo is hilarious!  i am privileged to be a boy-mom, and i hope and pray that we fulfill our role as parents to silas (and lincoln & tate) with as much grace, humor and wisdom as the huxtables, fictitious though they may be…




happy 12th birthday, silas phillip.  we couldn’t be more proud of you, and we love you like crazy.  we pray, like always, that everyday you grow more and more into the young man that God created you and dreams for you to be.  love, mom.




One Response to “TWELVE.”

  1. Erika Kaltenbach (Nelson) Says:

    I cry every time you post one of these birthday blogs. You know your children so well and are such a great mom. Silas – you are one amazing 12 year old. We are so lucky to have you in our lives. Happy late birthday!

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