So, an interesting new feeling for me as I got ready to write a happy birthday post about my oldest boy this week…I realized I should probably ask his permission before writing things about him to share on the internet! He said it was fine. I do already ask before sharing quotes/pictures on Facebook usually, if I think they’re potentially embarrassing at all.
I’ve been a mother for nine years now! As I said in my post from this morning, I feel weird about this because I remember being nine. I remember other ages too, of course, but nine is when I first start journaling and so I have more concrete memories and records of that time. I guess it is the age that marks the beginning of my own conscious awareness of myself and the world in a way that still feels familiar today—it was beginning, the dawn, of my adult thought processes. I also remember starting to feel self-conscious for the first time at nine, like my teeth were too big, my knees were too knobby, etc. And, personal remarks made by others about my appearance stuck for life at that age (i.e. the knees thing—a friend of my grandma’s commented to me, “when my daughter was your age, her knees looked just like yours and I too her to the doctor because I thought something was wrong with her.” Gee, thanks.) I also have this thing that I’ve had for a long time in which when I get embarrassed about something or something goes wrong, I say, “I feel like I’m nine again!” Nine was an awkward age for me. Feels weird that it could be Lann’s future self’s embarrassing archetype too!
His birthday always feels like my birth-day too. It is my birth-of-a-mother day, though as I shared last year I felt forged rather than born as a mother. Today, I made sure to put on the necklace I bought for myself as a first-birth-day-present in 2004 (it was my first goddess pendant too–who knew how that collection would evolve!)
Anyway, so back to my actual kid instead of me, me, me! This year has brought good changes for Lann. As I’ve alluded to previously, our work party relationships have enriched all of our lives. I’ve watched Lann develop tons more self-confidence and create friend relationships that do not have to be encouraged/guided/forced by me. Something that hasn’t changed is that this boy is an artist! He’s recently been thoroughly engaged by needle felting and created lots of awesome monster heads and action figures:
Both the boys also started taking taekwondo lessons as well as gymnastics and they love them both. Again with the self-confidence—two years ago, Lann would have been too scared to go to something like that without me. Now, I drop them off and he loves it. It is a good reminder to me about waiting until people are ready rather than pushing them. It happens eventually!
Birthday cake request was for a chocolate/vanilla swirl. We bought a mix and discovered to our dismay that it had both red and yellow food coloring in it! (We cut food colors our of the boys’ diets early this year and it has been a very good thing.)
So, as I stood there in my pajamas, I had to make a quick re-adjustment in plans and I made a swirl cake from scratch instead even though I’ve never ever made a vanilla cake from scratch before (I used my usual chocolate cake recipe and left out the cocoa. I’m smart like that.)
Lann remains very devoted to Minecraft and Baba surprised him with a homemade Enderman toy! (Zander and Alaina both got one too)
In addition to TKD and gymnastics, the boys also signed up for homeschool co-op again this year after having taken two years off. They’re taking a mythology/dragons class and also animation. I neglected to take a “first day of school” picture of the boys, but I did take a cute one of Alaina:
For Lann’s birthday, Mark took the day off and set up a laser tag arena in the field in front of our house. He bought special colored lights and set up obstacles and things to hide behind, etc. We also have five, count ’em five, laser tag guns and a visiting friend brought three more. So, we had spirited nighttime battles with a group of eight at a time—I played too, at first while nursing Alaina (and running in the dark. I rock!). It was super fun. Originally intended as a “money saving” option rather than paying $65 to go to the laser tag arena in town, after we bought the extra guns, and light bulbs, and tarps, and fence posts, I think we “saved” approximately –$50 😉
So, having a nine year old is awesome. He’s funny and smart. Pretty responsible (I’m feeling apprehensive about the iPod touch many family members chipped in to buy him this year–sudden he doesn’t seem quite big enough and is kind of slinging it around. He did send his very first email this morning though, with coaching!). He is a good big brother and super helpful with Alaina. He makes movies, he does art. He draws comics. He is more packed with ideas for businesses, products, and money-making plans than any kid I’ve ever known. He is creative and amazing!
Some more pix!
Happy ninth birthday, first baby boy!