Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mark!

There they are - my three boys. Doing what they do best! Today is actually Mark's birthday, but we celebrated last night because today's Ash Wednesday - and birthday cake on Ash Wednesday just didn't seem right! Mark didn't mind celebrating a day early - and the boys, apparently, are up for a party anytime!

We've been busy here the last few days - the weather's been nice and warm, although rainy. I took the boys out yesterday to get some last minute stuff - birthday candles, etc..., and when we were done in Walmart, we went to go outside to the car and it was pouring a deluge. And I was not parked close. So what to do? No umbrella, cart full of groceries, 19 month old and almost-4 year old? What COULD we do? Put up hoods and run. Yeah, we got wet!

Super Bowl was fun to watch! Nachos turned out great - even had enough stuff leftover for dinner the next night - SCORE!

This morning, I was reading a book with Jonathan - it's called the Icky Bug Counting Book. Nice name, huh? It actually belonged to Mark's niece, Chloe when she was little, and Mark tells me he remembers taking her on Icky Bug Walks - going in search of, well, icky bugs. Jonathan adores this book. Twenty-six different icky bugs in all, with a brief description and then you get to count the bugs on each page. By the time you get to the 26th bug and start counting for the 26th time, your skin is crawling. At least mine is! But he loves it, and it's been his favorite lately - and now he is really looking forward to Spring so we can get out there and find some icky bugs of our own. Great.

I just can't believe how big Jonathan is getting and how much he knows and how much he learns. Yesterday I asked him if he wanted to put the candles on Daddy's cake. Of course he was thrilled and I expected candles to be upside-down in the cake and shoved all the way in to the wick, etc.... But I figured I could fix it later - so I gave him some candles and let him go. He did a wonderful job - I couldn't believe it! Here's a pic:

After he was done putting all the candles on, he turned around and said "light the cake on fire, Mommy!" Ha! And for those of you who think my cake is ugly and plain, well, it is ugly. It sort of stuck in the pan a bit and I had to kind of patch it together a little. But plain? Well, maybe a little, but it's what Mark ordered - pound cake. He loves it. And it is fantastic - doesn't need a thing - icing, glaze, fruit topping - none of that would do anything at all for this cake, it is best eaten plain. Doesn't make for a very nice birthday cake presentation, but oh my, it is good! Any by the way, Jonathan straightened up that green candle and had them all perfect by the time he was done!

Did you ever wonder if you were doing enough for your kids? Teaching them enough? Involving them in enough life experiences? Taking them enough places, exposing them to enough new things? Sometimes I get these spasms of anxiety and I want to hop on the computer and go to an online bookstore and max out my credit card ordering every educational children's book there is. Or hop in the car and drive to every zoo, library, park, playground, swimming pool, children's theater and amusement park within a day's drive to make sure that not one thing is missed. I think of the possibility of sending Jonathan off to pre-school this Fall and wonder how I'm going to fit everything I want to do with him into the next 7 months. It's so scary - I've been waiting for this day - to see him more independent, to see him grow up, to see him dress himself and do things for himself, to see him help with housework....and it's happened, right before my eyes, and now it's like I'm on a giant slide and it's all going just way too fast. Whew - a wild ride, this parenting thing. I'm not ready to let my little boy face the world by himself - without me getting to see him every minute. How do I let him go and not be able to watch him learn new things? To not be able to see his little face light up at something new, something interesting, something he loves? To not know what he did for every second of every day? I hope the next 7 months cures me of this - I'm going to be the one sobbing on the schoolyard - not Jonathan!

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