quin and easton

Easton’s 11th birthday!

Easton on his birthday

quin's note to Easton

easton reading marlow's card


This has not been a typical year in any way and that goes for birthdays too. We realised early on that we would each celebrate in a different part of the world: Marlow in Uruguay, Quin in Australia, me in Japan, Ivy in Sri Lanka, Michael in the English countryside and lastly, Easton in London. Though hardly exotic, Easton was delighted it worked out this way. He would celebrate in the city he was born, with his family and friends gathered in a familiar park, full of happy memories.

The day kicked off with Nutella crepes and handmade, heartfelt cards from his siblings. He only got a couple gifts: some flippers for exploring the waters off Italy and a skateboard – one specially designed for surfers to practice their turns. He spent the afternoon ‘surfing’ up and down the streets of London. The weather was rainy so we met for pizza indoors before heading to the park in the evening. There we played games, ate cupcakes, skated, scooted, swung, and conversed until the sun dipped low in the sky (after 9pm this time of year).

As he skated home that night, turning easily around corners, bins and other obstacles, I walked behind him. I was impressed how quickly he had taken to skateboarding. Clearly all of the surfing had helped him take easily to this new board sport. I thought back to last year, before our travels began, before he discovered surfing, and I realised how much he’s grown and changed.

It has been a very good year for Easton. Our time together and on the road has really transformed him. He has gained so much confidence and awareness, becoming more in tune to the world around him. He discovered surfing early in our travels and it has been a huge joy to watch his passion develop. He has progressed in his schooling more than any other year and is genuinely excited to learn—hungry for new knowledge. He remains happy, adventurous, and creative, with a huge love of the outdoors and nature in all of its varied forms. Perhaps this is why surfing has been such a natural fit. The time out on the waves, literally immersed in nature, powered by nature — has been transformative for him. Looking back it all seems so obvious. Of course this year of adventure and exploration would appeal to him, but we could never have known how much. It’s like it was written in his stars! It has been the biggest joy being his mama and watching him become the boy he is.

12 thoughts on “Easton’s 11th birthday!

  1. Courtney, this is such a nice post. It make me smile and almost cry at the same time (and it is early in the morning). What a proud mama you have to be. Enjoy your time in Italy! I hope we will get to read about it.


  2. Thank you Courtney for sharing your adventures with us – I love your photos and reading your posts and look forward to hearing where you are! My son has also just turned 11 – on June 10th – so we shared in the celebrations a little here in Cape Town – where the surf is great if you ever get down to the tip of Africa! Have a great holiday🙂


  3. Oh man…definitely got teary eyed on this post! I can’t believe he is 11! How is it possible? I can remember you being pregnant with him. He has grown in to such an amazing boy. I still see Spencer in him…and yet he is by far his own person. Your kids are such a huge blessing to so many. Such love and kindness in their hearts. May this be his most memorable year yet and may he continue to grow and blossom. You and Michael are outstanding parents and your family adventure this past year will bring you all so many lessons and memories. Keep on keeping on. Sending you all much love from the valley and keeping your travels in my prayers. XOXO


  4. Oh my! So teary eyed reading this. What joy it is to watch our children grow into the people they really are. It’s apropos to the quote I read earlier today, “A mother discovers with great delight that one does not love one’s children just because they are one’s children but because of the friendship formed while raising them.” (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)

    Good for you taking this year off! What a life changing adventure…to take a break…to gain perspective. And most importantly, to build the bond of friendships within your family. Cheers to an open-hearted, adventure-filled life…wherever that may take you. xx


  5. Such sweet words spoken about your oldest. They grow so fast; it’s bittersweet ❤️

    Would you mind sharing where you purchased his skateboard?


  6. Courtney congratulations on your pregnancy. Apologies for the slightly random question, but I was searching tutu du monde dresses and happened upon pictures of your old house. Your girls had hooks in their bedrooms that resemble branches – some black, some white. I’m trying madly to track them down but can’t! so as a last resort I am bothering you🙂 If you could point me in the right direction I would appreciate it.


    • Hi Sally,
      I bought those tree branch hooks in a little boutique in Paris. I get asked all the time about those hooks, and the last time I tried to search online for them, I couldn’t find anything. Unfortunately, I can’t be very helpful! I wonder if the brand no longer exists… ?


  7. This was so heartfelt, and it’s good to hear this year has been a good one for Easton! Happy birthday to him! My son loves skateboarding–it’s his activity of choice when he’s outside–so I bet he would love to try surfing someday.


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