Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Happy Fifth Birthday Fin!

I can not help but start with the cliche: I can not believe you are FIVE. Five. Wow. I remember what it felt like when you pushed against my ribs when I was pregnant. I can remember the smell of your bald newborn head. I can feel your tiny hand wrapped around my finger while you nursed. Waking to you stroking my face and the toothless grin when I opened my eyes. While I knew I was in love with your father the night we met, it was you that made us a family. It was you, and then your sister, that forged us together so strongly that I can't even imagine a life different than this.

I went back and read my old blog posts on your birthday and its striking to see how little you've really changed. Yes, you talk clearer, your vocabulary has grown, you can write and draw more confidently. But the very essence of you is essentially the same. Your love of roller coasters and the thrill of a good hill are still very much a part of you. They've morphed into an obsession with Disneyland. You eat, sleep, and dream Disneyland. You had a Matterhorn birthday party, we have to read books on Imagineers, you build miniature Disneyland's in the living room. You've decided you want to build rides for Disneyland when you grow up. And then on your break you'll ride the Matterhorn, because you "won't be hungwy at all." You are serious about your passion. When people call you, you politely answer questions and then interject, "Can we talk about Disneyland now?" You and your Papa have had long winded conversations on how the two of you can build a mini-Matterhorn for you to play with, and the ideas you come up with are amazing in their creativity and usefulness.

You still love scary stuff. You're thrilled its Halloween time again. I help out in your class when you go to the library, and you're teacher asked me, shocked, "He doesn't think thats too scary?" when you picked out a zombie book. I had to shrug and say, "He really loves scary stuff. I've tried to keep him away from it, but he loves it." You've never been really scared, never had a nightmare. I mentioned to your Nanny that I thought the scary stuff didn't affect you like other kids because you are so matter-of-fact. There's no telling you that something is real when its obviously not. "Are those REAL dinosaurs Fin?! I think they're real!" I exclaimed at the fair, pointing to the realistic animatronic dinos. You just shot me a withering stare and sighed, "Mooom. They are just robots."

You are heartbreakingly sensitive sometimes. You can not stand to be in trouble. When you do lash out at your sister and she cries, you immediately start crying yourself or start frantically apologizing and hugging her. Which in turn makes me feel awful (its not like you are harshly punished, at most we tell you to not *insert infraction here* and to apologize). In school yesterday you were asked to draw a picture of a telephone. I had my back to you, filing paperwork for the teacher, when I heard your teary voice say, "Mrs.Roranger I fink I have a problem!" You were frantic because you couldn't draw a perfect telephone. She showed the whole class and you settled down a bit, but snuffled for a while, breaking my heart into a hundred pieces. You are such a perfectionist already, but with two type-A perfectionist parents, there wasn't much hope for you. Its moments like that, that make me feel confident in our choice to wait one more year for kindergarten, even though I worry a bit that you will be bored. But I would rather you have confidence in yourself and your abilities, because that strength will only help you in the end. Whether you read at five or six matters little when it comes down to it.

We've started to read chapter books together, and I'm thrilled that you enjoy books as much as I do. Reading for me has always been one of my greatest pleasures, a way to escape, learn and grow. We've read some of my favorites, Roald Dahl, E.B. White. You loved Pippi Longstocking. Your Dad started reading Moby Dick to you last week, protesting that you had read all your long books and that you enjoyed it and said you couldn't wait till the guy fights the whale. You're equally enthralled with non-fiction, listening to pages and pages on dinosaurs, engineering (Disneyland) and spiders. I giggle writing Encylopedia Prehistorica on your reading logs, next to Scooby Doo and The Gingerbread Man. I hope your love of reading is something that stays with you throughout your life, and am determined to do my best by keeping you engaged.

You love music and have a pattern of becoming obsessed with a certain song and listening to it over and over and over. Which is pretty typical of your age I'm sure. What is not typical is that your songs of choice are by bands like Joy Division, Interpol, and obscure Swedish metal bands. I find it amazing that these songs are on in the background and you pick them up and fall in love with them, learning the beats, words, intonations, everything about it. You're so excited about your new headphones, its so cute to see you sit at the computer with the giant headphones on singing, "Wuuuv, wuuuv will tear us apart againnnn"

You are thoughtful and kind. On your birthday you let everyone help you open your presents, voluntarily offering up the chance to break the ribbon, or tear the paper to all your friends, even though you had talked about opening your presents all morning. You received a gift card and Disney Dollars for Disneyland, and when we went the next day you got the three things you've wanted all year. When we told you you still had money left over, you decided you'd rather buy Parker the baby doll she's wanted instead of buying yourself something. When we went to meet her after a ride, you were so excited to buy it secretly and surprise her. Every time she looks at it, she sighs and says, "Dank you Pippin, dank you." You two are still so close, playing and scheming together all day. I can't buy just one of you something, with out one of you demanding that the other needs something too (instead of the typical response, which would be for the one without a treat to demand something for themselves). You keep your eye out for your sister, if she lags just a bit, you frantically pull her and chastise her, scared to death she'll get lost. I've learned I can't say, "Fine, Parker, I'm leaving!" because it stresses you out so much. You get teary and panicky (all the while Parker still ignores me).

Every day you do something that makes me stop and think I'm the luckiest mom in the world. I love every single kiss you give me, love when you wrap your arms around me and sigh, "I wuv you Mom" or plead with me to snuggle with you just a little bit longer. I know you won't always want to snuggle with me, but I will always keep that feeling in my heart. We love you more than anything, happy birthday Boogs.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Four years ago we made it official. But I knew in my heart the night we met that I'd never want to be with anyone else. I love you babe.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Back To School

I wasn't too worried about him. He's always loved school. Besides those first few weeks of preschool years ago, dropping him off has always been easy. And it was this time too. He couldn't wait to wear his new "pack-pack."

By mid-week, the story had changed. Wednesday when I picked him up, his teacher pulled me aside to say he had cried at recess, begged to go home. She thought he was overwhelmed, perhaps, by all the big kids. He greeted me with a bounce and a smile. The next morning we had to beg and cajole him to get in the car. Told him we couldn't be late for Parker's first day of school.

She was all smiles, a perfectly cooperative child. Didn't fuss at what I picked out for her to wear, only insisted on wearing pants. Didn't fuss when I did her hair. Ate her breakfast, brushed her teeth, put on her shoes. I only had to ask once. I turned to Josh and said, I have no idea who this child is. She insisted on wearing Fin's backpack for her picture.

Dropped a reluctant, teary brother off at Jr. K. No one tells you how hard this part is. They say you'll be sad, because they are growing up. But no one talks about the anguish of seeing the fear and the sadness and knowing you could just make it stop. You could just pick him up and walk out. But you can't. You say all the right things, he has to stay, he needs to learn, he'll have so much fun, while your throat tightens and you look up to stop your own tears from flowing. He's gotten a little better. He keeps a note in his pocket from me. I tell him he can look at it whenever he wants, that I'll always come pick him up.

She has to wait fifteen minutes for her classroom to open. She paces outside, says good morning to the birds, good morning to everyone who passes by. "I just can't wait!" Makes us breakfast of eggs and pancakes in the playhouse. She says hello to the kids as they wait outside with us. When they don't say hi back, she turns to me, hurt, "Dey aren't saying hi!" She bolts inside the second the door opens, the first one in. I have to physically drag her away from a toy to get a goodbye. She kisses us goodbye and is off again. We stand there, bemused and dazed.

When I pick her up, she gives me a huge hug. Did you have fun, I ask. "Yeah! I pwayed follow da leader, and dinosaurs in da sand, and rang da bell to clean up and had snack." Its ten times the information her brother has ever offered me. The next morning I told Fin to get dressed and he asked me why. I said, because you have to go to school. Parker squealed, "Me too?!" "No, baby, not today." "Awwww! I just wanna go!"

He feigned sickness this morning, a dramatic sniffle and a sad shrug, "I just can't go to school. *sniiifff* see? I'm sick." We went over it again. He needs to go. He'll have fun. I'll always be there to pick him up. Wrote him a new note, drew him a picture. Finally got him in the car with this: "We have to go to school, because you don't know what Mrs.Loranger's favorite ride at Disneyland is!" His eyes lit up. "Maybe its the Matterhorn, Mommy." "Maybe! Lets go ask her." "Okay, wet's go! And wets get her phone answer so we can call her to go to Disneyland with us."