Monday, September 03, 2007

Still in Single Digits (Barely)

Honestly, I can't believe it's been a year since I wrote this post. Today, Middle Child turned nine. He's in third grade. He's brilliant. He's... He's... nine? Did I just say nine? How did that happen?

How did a little blond cherub with big cheeks and a penchant for donuts and ice cream turn into... a tall, brown-haired linebacker with a penchant for donuts and ice cream?

Last year, he celebrated his birthday with one of his best buddies, a boy with the same birthday. We all went to a water park, then for dinner at Middle Child's favorite restaurant.

Adding to my preternatural feeling of deja vu, this year, he and his best buddy, along with The Saint and best buddy's mom, went to the same water park. Tonight, we're hitting the Outback again, where I'm sure we'll eat the same stuff we normally eat (though I suppose I won't, since I've sworn off both ice cream and soda, and I've dropped nearly a stone as a result).

I suppose I should have known this day was coming. I can read a calendar. I've had the day marked.

Topping it off, I was forewarned. Middle Child starts school earlier than the rest of the family; this year, he wanted to have his birthday party while he was still on Summer Vacation. So we hosted the sleepover a few weeks ago, on a rainy, muggy, buggy night. This was a camping out theme: flashlights in the goody bags, s'mores, and a birthday cake that looked just like a campfire (The Saint worked her magic). We also set up Lt. Ed Novak's tent... in the middle of the living room. Four kids stayed up until 2 a.m. and then thankfully, slept in... until 6 a.m.

No sleepovers tonight. Though four of us will be getting up at 6 anyway (The Saint starts school tomorrow; Daughter goes to daycare; Middle Child, as I may have mentioned, is already back in school; and I deliver him to the bus and Daughter to daycare). Oldest Son, of course, doesn't start school until Thursday, so he gets a two-day reprieve.

So in most ways, nothing has changed. Middle Child has put another year on his clock, which is shocking to me only because the time has flown so quickly.

In the last year, Middle Child has earned straight As in school (again), started three or four rock bands with his buddy with the same birthday, played center on his basketball team (he's a head taller than any other kid on the court), turned into a natural first baseman, and torn up the league with his bat (at the plate, he looks like Carl Yastrzemski, virtually identical stance, and since Fall Ball has started, he's pulling the ball on almost every pitch).

How has he stayed the same? He still loves ice cream, donuts, his brother, his sister, The Saint and me (usually in that order, though sometimes Oldest Son is farther down the list). He still possesses an (even more) outrageous sense of humor. He still enjoys mooning people.

To this, I add that it's only been a year, so I haven't changed much either. Today is Middle Child's day, and I remind myself, as I do every day, how lucky I am to be his dad.

Happy Birthday, Buddy. I love you.

Dad

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