Henry turned five on Friday. Five. That reality is still settling in on me. I will never forget our first moments together, bleary-eyed and overcome. Exhausted to my fingernails. I had no idea what I was in for. But I knew that I loved that tiny boy. From moment one, my heart was all tangled up with his - no hope for extrication. No hope at all. It's been all hopelessness, helplessness ever since. And my heart beats hard and heavy for him still.
Anyway...we made his day as magical as we could manage. Birthday pancakes with fruit syrup for breakfast, a homemade birthday banner to adorn the mantle, a scavenger hunt for his gift (a new bike!), a visit from Nana and Grandpa, a sweet candy-gram from Aunt Halley (that Lily wanted to devour!), and a trip to Big R (a farm/ranch supply store nearby), the reason behind which I shall reveal in a moment. It was so fun just to please and indulge our boy. He is easily tickled and delightfully demonstrative.
We postponed the friends & family celebration 'til Sunday when all of our loved ones were available for an evening of food, cake, gifts and togetherness. We invited all the grandparents, and a few of the neighbors joined us for dessert. It was such a thrill for me to have everyone in my home. I loved it! I was, of course, stressed about whether my rolls would rise properly and if the cake would be yummy (They did. It was.) but mostly, I was just tickled to play hostess and gather so many dear ones under one roof.
Anyway, just to keep it real, I will tell you that Henry got called a "dork" by some bigger boys in the neighborhood that night. They called him a dork and then told him that dork means whale's p-e-n-i-s. (Oh, gosh! I'm sorry I just typed that on my blog). Fortunately, the definition got lost in little-boy translation and Henry came home telling me that dork means, "weeth peanick." He sort of muttered it under his breath with a sideways glance, as if to wonder what in the world that meant?! I had to fight back laughter about the "weeth peanick" part, but the exchange with those boys was like the official welcome to the world of "big kids." And it made me feel a little hollow about the layers of innocence and trust that will be peeled back and lost as he continues to negotiate the "real world." (sigh...)
Of course, we think he is the absolute opposite of dorky - precious and dear and funny and clever and curious and handsome and tender and...just right.
And now for the BIG R reveal...are you ready?
Guesses as to what might be inside the box?
Nate suggested the idea. I was neutral to it. Henry begged. We could not resist. We came home with 9 cubic feet of cedar shavings, a twenty pound bag of starter feed, a brooder lamp and four tiny, fuzzy chicks. They're not much trouble at all and they made a great object lesson for our Easter Family Home Evening. We plan to raise them 'til they're hearty enough to be introduced to the brood at my parents' farm. We're trying to temper Henry's adoration (kids aren't really supposed to hold them - we ignored that rule on his birthday). He would snuggle with them all day if we let him, sleep with them even. When I told him it was time to put them all in their box and get out of the laundry room the other day he said, "wait! I just want to sing them a lullaby first; you chose which one we should sing." How do you decline such a darling request?
We sang Rock-a-bye Baby...