Five Years with Alvie Bean
Tomorrow, you’ll turn five years old. You love your birthday and have been looking forward to this milestone for quite some time. I’m pretty sure your excitement over both mine and the Beer Guy’s birthdays was because that was two less birthday barriers before you turned five.
You are such a wonderful boy. It’s been a hard year, and we’ve had some rough times, but through it all, you’ve stayed affectionate, kind, and oh-so-curious.
You’ve grown so much this year–both physically and intellectually. You dress yourself everyday (even socks, which were challenging for a long while). Your style isn’t necessarily my style, but you definitely have one. Thanks be to Thor, though, you’ve moved passed that “all shirts must be blue and all pants must be black or grey.”
You are, as always, both the most infuriating and most delightful person I’ve ever known. You’ve figured out that one of the quickest ways to get out of trouble is to give me a hug and tell me you love me. It doesn’t always work, but it melts my heart.
We had so much fun this summer. Between the backyard sprinkler and the water park at the park two blocks away and time spent with your BFFs at the park and the pool, it was some good times.
I spent as much time as possible outside with you this summer–complicated by the ridiculous heat Portland experienced. We gardened, we swam, and we got ice cream from the creepy, off-key ice cream van (a first for both of us!).
When it was too hot for outside, we built legos, and you started showing an interest in drawing. You’ve gone from barely drawing in September, to drawing childish square/triangle window-less houses in October, to completely recognizable Tower Bridges (complete with Elizabeth Tower, which houses Big Ben).
In August, we took a trip! We flew on an airplane all the way to South Dakota to visit Grandma and Aunt Liz. You did so well on 3/4 of the airplanes. You were polite, charming, and well-behaved.
It was a fantastic trip. You met your great-grandma, several great-aunts and uncles, my good friend Marcy and her family, got to see trains, waterfalls, and swim in the largest natural lake in South Dakota. There was the small incident of air-sickness on the first leg of our return trip, but even barfing on a plane, you managed to maintain your equanimity and charm…those flight attendants were so nice to you.
You developed an unholy affection for all things Pokemon. I don’t understand it–although I don’t particularly mind it as a tv show (it’s better than Daniel Tiger, that’s for sure), I don’t get the attraction. But I’m sure it won’t be the last time I don’t understand your interests. Fortunately, I don’t need to understand–I only need to support.
Autumn was hard for us. Mama was stressed, you were stressed, no one was sleeping, and our routine was all messed up with the various holidays. You really enjoyed participating in all the pre-election excitement. You helped me drop off our ballots, we painted our finger and toenails in patriotic colors, and we made election party cupcakes. (We’ll not talk about the rest of that.)
It was hard on all of us, but your excitement about the winter holidays almost made up for it. It was so fun taking you gift shopping and seeing what crazy things you came up for. (The best? Stopping you from buying grandma a pair of socks that said “I’m a delicate fucking flower.” You liked them because flowers. I almost let you get them. Almost. You really need to learn to read, kiddo.)
Post Christmas was also an exciting time. First Grandma came to visit and then it started snowing. And snowing. And snowing.
Oh – and we moved again! This time, as I’ve reassured you more than once, for good. Not, however, forever. You may not live with us forever. You’ve got 13 more years, and then you’re out of here, buddy! It’s been fun getting your room set up (you have your own desk for all your drawing!) and getting to know new cats. One of the best parts (for me, anyway) is that we’re two blocks from a huge park with a pool!
The last month has been a countdown to your birthday. Every day we ask Siri how many days it is until April 8. You’ve planned your cake, addressed all your party invitations, and asked every day if any presents have arrived.
I am so excited to pick you up tonight! I didn’t get to see you on your birthday last year, and I’m delighted that I’m getting you for this one.
You have become such a delightful child and I am so pleased that you’re my kid. You are smart, funny, talented, challenging, and kind. The last five years are beyond anything I could’ve anticipated and I know the next five will continue to surprise and challenge and delight me. Most of the time.
You’re my favorite, kid. I will love you to the sun and the moon and all the planets and back.