Diego turns 6

On February 11th, my baby boy turned 6. It was an incredible time for all of us because we love celebrations. However, no one loves a good celebration more than my son. This guy can go on for days with "this is my special day so such and such will take place..." He squeals with delight, too. We celebrated as much as possible this year. You know as parents when you try to make up for all those wicked hours with one big celebration? Well, we had an unusually large amount of wicked hours piled up so we had to have two celebrations. The only difference this year was that I was in charge. (Last year, Lisa did a wonderful job of creating a birthday party in the mountains. But the anxiety of having everything ready to go two weeks before the actual party and then people getting lost in the mountains and being really late must've gotten to her because she handed the baton over to me this year.)

As a parent, I am not a big pull out all the stops person for birthdays or special holidays. Rather than admit that I am cheap, I like to use the Bible as an excuse. You know the "spare the rod, spoil the child" bit in the Old Testament? And, I'm not really that into rods, well hot-rods yes, but iron rods or whatever they used in Biblical times, not so much. But the word "spoil" stood out to me. I figure since people are always using the Bible for reasons why we shouldn't be gay then this might damn well work for reasons why we shouldn't spoil our children. So I often peruse looking for back-ups to my way of parenting. "Spoil" was my key word this time as I looked through the Bible looking for reasons not to pull out all the stops. The more I read the more I began to worry that if I pull out all the stops (which is, in fact, a modern translation of "to spoil") for my children then some unfortunate thing might befall them such as an endless array of locusts swarming in their rooms. I don't know if I'm justifying the not spoiling with this little tidbit. Perhaps, as Lisa would say, "everyday is a celebration..." is an acceptable way of not admitting that I am cheap. The everyday being a celebration is to denote that we don't need to italicize days in order to celebrate. Her ideology about things seems to go off a little smoother than mine most of the time. I spend an inordinate amount of time explaining why I do things the way I do to the kids. Lisa lovingly reminds me that "their listening ability stopped about an hour ago, honey."

I think she handed the baton over to me because she geniunely feels as if I have nothing better to do (excluding, of course, studying for the Bar, doing the laundry, keeping the house clean...the list is actually quite long) so she figured that planning a couple of birthday celebrations would give me something fun to focus on. Well, I am happy to report that I met the challenge. In my home we tend to rate things with grades. For instance, we went on a two hour hike yesterday and I confidently veered us off the well-worn path attempting to add some adventure into our usually mundane hike (of course, only I perceive it this way). I took us into some awful rocky terrain where the only thing worn about it was the scattered animal droppings. Just as I was about to enter into a casual state of panic and allow my family to see the bullets of sweat nesting nicely on my forehead I found my way back to the trail. My son exclamed "mommy you did an A+ job you found the trail.!" Even Lisa said "way to use your inner compass." I just smiled and kept my mouth shut.

Anyway, my point was on focusing on something fun for my son...

So, the first party was at school. Diego is pictured with his cake and at his table with some of his school mates with their slices of cake. His teacher, Maestra Pozo, is a very lovely Latina who also adores celebrations. She will celebrate almost anything. "Oh my gosh, you found some garbage lying on the floor and threw it away? Bring some cake tomorrow and we'll celebrate!" Well, that may be an over exaggeration (a tiny bit of one). But, she does celebrate almost anything. So I felt the pressure to bring stuff in for Diego. Any questions I may have had about what to bring were answered quite clearly by none other than Diego himself. He gave me instructions! "Mommy, bring the cake and ice cream at lunch time and you can set it up in the classroom. Don't forget to bring milk." (I replied: "bring milk?") "Yes, that is what all the parents do. Milk is for the cake. Don't forget the milk. Okay, mommy?" (He also helped me order the cake the day before. The lady at the counter asks "do you want vanilla, chocolate or marble?" Diego quickly steps forward and replies "marble please." So when he sees the cake at school with only Diego decorations on it, he turns to me and asks "mommy, I don't see any marbles, do you?" I told him marble had to do with the filling not actual marbles on your cake. It was one of those moments that makes you love children.)

I have lunch with my son every day. So, I get to school and the first thing out of his mouth "did you bring the milk?" He is getting more and more like Lisa all the time. The other day I was trying to remember the things we needed from the store. Just a few things, mind you and he says "get me a piece of paper, please" Of course, I say "what for?" He says, "so I can make you a list. That way you won't forget." Well, our favorite list-maker is MamaLisa. It's important to note that I loathe lists. And, no I did not get my son that piece of paper. Lists are a constant reminder that I have something to do. I don't like to be reminded of that!

In some ways my son is a lot like me and in other ways he is a lot like Lisa. But, in the most important ways he is truly a genuinely unique boy. I love his joy for life. I love his ability to easily overlook my mistakes. He has a strong heart that easily loves and he is very kind. I love seeing him and his sisters developing friendships with one another and how he enjoys being the only boy in the family. On our hike yesterday he had to go pee really bad. So Lisa took him over to a nearby rock and told him to go pee. Of course, he yells out at us "don't look over here right now. you don't want to see this." So I yell back, "then turn around and get behind a bush so we can't see that."

Happy Birthday to the little boy that makes my heart smile with pure joy!!


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