Easily lost amidst all of the boys’ birthday party fun is the fact that the very next day was our Alejandro’s official 6th birthday. And while this could have been a recipe for an anti-climactic day, a little snafu on behalf of the party rental company ended up making it one of his favorite birthdays to date. To make a very long story short, our favorite slip’n’slide ended up being delivered nearly 5 hours later than it should have been on party day. This is something that should have made this party planner start day drinking nervous but, thankfully, I’m German and Germans are physiologically incapable of panicking. In order to make it up to us, the company offered to let us keep the slip’n’slide for the entire weekend rather than just the one day, which was more than a fair deal in all of our minds. It also completely saved me from having to find other ways to make this day feel anything but ordinary.
Doug and I were lucky. We made it all the way until 10am before the first chorus of, “Can we turn the blow-up on now?!” began. For anyone who isn’t quite familiar with parenting hours, 10am is the middle of the day. 10am is basically lunchtime. 10am is two full cups of coffee, a 4 mile run, one Mite-level hockey game, and at least half an issue of Martha Stewart Living. In short, not being outside in our bathing suits at 8am on the slip’n’slide the day after Partypalooza 2016 was the biggest gift of all to us as parents.
Who am I kidding? The biggest gift of all was having the opportunity to not just watch them in all of their joy as they bounded down the slide — we got to do it with them. An unfortunate side effect of being the hosts of the party is that it doesn’t afford us as much of an opportunity to really participate in most of the fun. Our job is to make sure everyone else is doing that and to jump in any time we see an opening.
|It was bliss. Sweet, summery birthday bliss.|
When it was all said and done, the birthday boy was sung to (again) and we told him our favorite stories about him as a baby and from the day he was born. As I watched this little big boy meticulously eat his cake, I remembered the way he not-so-neatly slathered himself with icing on his very first birthday. I thought about how different he is now than he was then, but in so many ways exactly the same.
His hands may be bigger and his legs may be longer, but he still insists on holding my hand everywhere we go and still sits on my lap any chance he gets. He is my gentle giant; my sweet natured boy with a compassionate heart who wouldn’t know aggression if it poked him in the eye. To him I’m still Mommy-Bear who carries him up to his bed every night. He’s still not too big for me to kiss him in front of everyone, though every day there are more and more things he wants to do on his own. He loves The Polar Express and trains more than any child I’ve ever seen and dreams of being a conductor by day and a New York Ranger by night. He loves to be in charge but doesn’t mind waiting for a turn, especially for his little brother. He never, ever gets tired of Charlie Brown. He loves stick & puck time with Daddy and donuts on Sundays. He is stubborn. He is curious. He is his father. He believes in all the magic; and in all that life is really about. And to us, he is the embodiment of what life is really all about.
Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, unser Alejandro-Schatz! Wir lieben dich!