Saturday, March 23, 2013

It's great to be eight, according to Donovan.

A lot has happened in the last couple weeks, mostly surrounding this kid's 8th birthday.
Does he look like he's about to erupt in giggles? He just can't take himself seriously.

It sort of started the day before his birthday, when my mom arrived from California. Yay! And then the night before, had me pulling out my newest birthday-surprise idea. Now, in the past we've done balloons or streamers or flowers (for Ainsleigh) and I kind of feel like we're running out of ideas (not that we couldn't repeat, but still). But about a week before Dono's birthday, I was suddenly struck with the thought: SNAKES. Of COURSE we should put rubber snakes all over his room. Of COURSE. Then I discovered a very life-like inflatable python that people buy to put in their gardens to keep birds away. But then I wisely considered how an eight year old boy might react, were he to wake in the middle of the night and see it. So I backtracked and bought a bag of small snakes. Joel and I carefully placed them in a large figure eight on Dono's floor and crept out.

In the morning, Dono was beside himself with glee. First of all, he had a horrible time falling asleep, for all the excitement in his little body. Then he woke up cackling at the snakes, claiming he LOVED them. Then he raced downstairs to behold a pile of presents.

One of the things he reallyreallyreally wanted was a Lego thing that involves something called Speedors (like a race car or something). I had already told him he had too many Legos, even though I had every intention of getting him "just one more" set. I decided to let Ainsleigh and Gemma give it to him. It wasn't expensive, and these kids are such great friends, and I love having one of them thank the other profusely and play together far better than taking the credit myself. They all know I have to approve, so they all know I'm in on it. I loved seeing Ainsleigh's eyes fall out of her head when I told her she and Gemma could buy it for him. And I loved seeing Dono's eyes fall out of HIS head when he unwrapped it. I loved it all.

One of his presents was (drumroll, please) his CUB SCOUT UNIFORM. Heh. I asked Joel if it was really gift-worthy, and he claimed scouts was all in how you present it. So it got placed there with the gifts.

This birthday was particularly momentous, because in our church, that's when a kid can get baptized (of course, you can get baptized when you're older, but eight's the youngest). This totally blew my mind when Ainsleigh turned eight - how could she be old enough to get baptized?! This time around, the baptism isn't what blew my mind, it was CUB SCOUTS. This is a world I'm entirely, until-now-happily, unfamiliar with. Donovan, though, when talking about cub scouts, automatically puffs his chest out a little. Last week, before his first den meeting, I asked if he needed help with his shirt. "No, Mom," he replied, "I got this. I'm a scout now," and sauntered off. Ok, then.
I'm not sure why I had him stand in front of the map, but in retrospect I think it was the perfect place,especially with his dog at his feet. All-American, I tell you. He just needs a slice of apple pie and a baseball.

But back to birthday morning. He got pancakes for breakfast, in an attempt to have as much cake on his birthday as possible. Later, as we walked to school, he half-skipped next to me. We carried about 3 dozen freshly baked chocolate chip cookies for him to share with his classmates. As I sank a kiss into his still-pillowy-soft-but-not-as-chubby-as-before cheek, he said, almost in wonder, "This is the best morning. I love being me." Out of all the gifts he could possibly receive, this is the one I would wish for him to have forever and ever.

Oh wait - one more thing. I made this for Donovan's birthday (read about the 2010 incident here):

Sometimes this kid drives me crazy with his energy and, shall we say, enthusiasm. But he also has made me laugh in ways I never imagined. I love you, buddy.

More pictures and good times to come. I'm determined to actually go through them today. After I take a nap, that is. I just did an hour of power yoga and then shoveled about 8 inches of snow. Wait, make that SPRING snow, since spring snow weighs about 10 times as much as winter snow. So, you know, my arms feel like jelly.