Last week we celebrated Thanksgiving and Aidan’s birthday a couple days later. I can’t believe Aidan is seven years old now. In a way I feel like he should be much older, but then again it’s hard to believe that seven years ago our little boy was born so helpless and fragile. He’s come so far and filled our life with such immense joy and wonder.
I wasn’t prepared for Aidan’s birthday because we had just gotten back from a great Thanksgiving couple of days at Grandma’s house a couple hours away. We had been spoiled, fed way too many delicious treats, and had a ton of fun. I was in the midst of piles of laundry when I realized I had better get my butt in gear for Aidan’s big day. The morning of his birthday, I still had presents to wrap, streamers to hang, sloppy joes to get ready, donuts to pick up and deliver to Aidan’s class, and a cake to bake. No problem. If you have 37 hours in a day and a babysitter for Ella.
I’m proud to say I did get it all done. And as I was running around like a maniac, the design for Aidan’s cake came to me. Captain America’s shield. Perfect. It’s round, which the cake in the oven already was also, and I had all the colors of frosting I needed already in the pantry.
It turned out so cute. The boys were totally thrilled at my rendition of the shield. I love how they are completely in awe of my attempts at things like birthday cakes, which never look like a store-bought masterpiece, but are fun anyway. In fact, before Jonah saw what the cake was decorated with, he informed me that the cake was a little lopsided. Yes. That’s because it’s made with a whole lot of love and the love was heavier on one side, I said. Then he saw the top of the cake with the shield on it and forgot about the heavier side of love.
Ella was in charge of streamers. We had to use pink that ones that were left over from Ella’s birthday, because I didn’t have time to buy red ones which is Aidan’s favorite color. Ella hung them along the whole back of our bench that sits at the table, and all the chairs. Methodically and proudly, she taped each little piece beside the next until every surface of sitting area was covered. She couldn’t wait to show Aidan. She kept saying to herself “Me think Aidan will REALLY love this!” And of course he did. She showed him her hard work when he came in from the bus and he gave many ooo’s and ahhh’s to all of Ella’s hard work. He’s a great big brother.
We had sloppy joes in honor of Aidan for dinner- that’s Aidan’s favorite thing to eat, under cereal, ice cream, and pizza. Then we had to deal with a big brother who had a super long meltdown about homework, but finally we reconvened to light candles and sing “Happy Birthday” to our 7-year-old. The meltdown was forgotten for a few minutes, the tears were dried, and we shared some special time with Aidan as we ate our Captain America cake. I kept taking pictures of Aidan until he gave me a look and I asked him if he wanted me to stop. He was too tired to talk but just nodded his head with his Aidan Look on his face that says “Mom, really. Just knock it off. You’re such a Mom.”
Even if we have to deal with meltdowns and tears and plans going off-course, when it’s one of our birthdays we all realize that is a special moment to love our Birthday Person. The kids all seem to feel a change in the very air of our house on a birthday. They are especially kind and loving to the Birthday Person, and everyone is excited about what the presents will be, what Mommy’s lopsided cake will be decorated with, what color of streamers will be hung up. It’s such an important moment to stop and give thanks that the Birthday Person was born. And in our case, the moment is filled with extra thanks for how far the Birthday Kid has come in his/her life since they all had such rough starts in the world.
It’s exciting to see your children unfold and blossom before your eyes. To see what they will become, what they will like, what will make them laugh, who they will choose as friends. I’m thankful for so many things, but most of all my kiddos. They have made me a different person, and although life is not easy most days, for that I am grateful.
I am thankful for Aidan, with his spiky blond hair and soulful hazel eyes (That he used to wish were blue like Daddy, Ella, Jonah, and Ben’s. Instead he got Mama’s eyes. Which he is becoming more proud of now.). I am thankful for his spirit of sunshine and joy. For the way he can figure out any electronic device in four minutes or less. For the way he is becoming such an artist. For the way he still loves to bake with me. For the way he loves his brothers and sister. For his sleepy hugs as I carry him to bed. For his insight into spirituality. For his giggle. For so many things.