Seven. It seems SO much older than six. Six is so close to five. And when you're five, you're still in kindergarten and that's just one step from preschool. But seven. That's like...almost 10. Yikes. He's growing up too fast! And he's so tall that most people think he's older than he really is. I should have chosen a really short sperm donor so he could be small child for longer. Hee hee. Not really. I'm quite happy with the choice and how it's all turned out.
T's birthday was on June 17, which fell on a Thursday this year. His day always comes after the school year finishes so he never gets to do the cupcake or classroom celebrations that most of the other kids do. But this year he was in "Splash" camp at our local YMCA. The camp only lasted one week but by Thursday he was feeling pretty comfortable and had gotten to know most of this group, so when I showed up (zipped over there on my lunch break from work) with 36 cupcakes, he was the most popular kid there! He was so happy to see me and hand out the cupcakes. I even got hugs and kisses--right there in front of all the kids and camp leaders. I'm so glad he hasn't hit that phase where he's embarrassed to be seen with me yet, let alone give hugs or kisses. I'm sure it will come, so I relish these moments while there here.
He started his birthday with my waking him up with a Happy Birthday song and a piece of cake with a big ol' "7" candle burning on top. He wished out loud
"I wish that it could be my birthday everyday!"
Then he got to open my gift for him: a Nintendo DSi. He started playing with it right away, even though he'd never touched one before. This younger generation has no fear of electronic gadgets and he was quickly mastering a few games on the preloaded "Brain Age". (a Costco find. LOVE that Brain Age is educational!). I also bought an extra game but kept that gift for his birthday party (A Toy Story 3 game).
After Splash camp we went over to Oma and Opa's house and they presented him with his gift--a shiny RED Mongoose bike. Red is his favorite color and even though the bike is a tiny bit big for him, it won't be long before his legs are too long for it. Then we all went out for Round Table Pizza! It was a really nice birthday and T seemed to be enjoying all the events that focused on him.
Oh who are we kidding? 99% of any given day's events are focused on him. Oh well. That's what happens with only-kids. They get all the attention or become very good at demanding it. :)
Then on Saturday, we had a birthday party at the local bowling ally. I was very nervous about this one. I'd sent out my first evite invitations about 2 weeks before the event. But 3 days before the party, there was only ONE RSVP. I had invited 9 of his friends from school, plus both my sister's families. I didn't even bother with my brother--I didn't think he'd come (and true to expectations, he never called to wish T happy birthday or give any card/gift). One sister didn't want to come because she "didn't think it would be fun hanging out with a bunch of 7-year olds." Excuse me??? She is the mother of 3 kids (ages 18, 16 and 14) and I have gone to ALL birthday parties regardless of their ages, gift in hand and ready to party. To be fair, a few weeks before T's birthday, I flirted with the idea of having 2 parties (one for the family and one for T's friends) but as time went on I realized I had way too much on my plate (bodily pains, backyard project and lack of potential projected funds) to give 2 parties. She was going to opt for the "family party". But I didn't call her ahead of time to let her know there would only be one party. I called her several times to see if she'd change her mind. But no. She just kept insisting that I should really reconsider and have another party too for just family members. They didn't come.
At least my other sister, her husband and their son came. Even though they had plans to leave on a camping trip for the week. I asked her to come and that it would mean a lot. And she delayed her trip by one day to make T's party. I was very appreciative of that. Two days before the party I scrambled to find alternate email addresses to be sure that the boys I'd invited even GOT the invitation. Some had received them but not answered and others didn't check or had summer plans and couldn't make it. But in the end we had 8 kids bowling and 8 parents hanging out and cheering on the bowlers. They bowled with bumpers which is WAY more fun. It's kinda like billiards. You can use those bumpers to ricochet the ball this way and that and get more pins knocked down. They had a blast! T was high-fiving with his friends with whatever they scored and all the kids were supportive of one another. Even when one kid started crying because he had the lowest score and just couldn't get that ball to knock down very many pins. He is the most cerebral 7 year old you might come across. His vocabulary is way beyond the average kid and it frustrated him that he couldn't will the ball to do what he wanted. When he gave up and cried to his mom, the other boys in his lane asked if they could bowl for him. T got a few spares on his behalf (heck, he got to bowl more times!) and brought up his friend's score and then the tears dried up and he jumped right back in. I loved that they all rallied and helped each other, because most of the time, it's not like that. Boys are SO competitive. At least mine is. Maybe they are growing up. Or it was just an unusual and lovely moment. Either way, it made me feel really good.
Then we all had pizza and soda and T opened up his presents. Some of his gifts were a remote control car that climbs on walls and ceilings (wow!), a beach towel and ball, $20 gift card for Toys R Us (he bought Wii Ski game), a book on Constellations and a Science/Physics project (gotta still open it and figure that one out), and Wii Mario Galaxy II game. The bowling alley also gave him a real bowling pin and a permanent marker so each of his friends could sign it. It's like a really cool memento of the day and it looks great in his room.
Later that day, Oma, Opa, T and I all went to the movies to see Karate Kid. I really wanted to see Toy Story 3, but T was more excited about Karate Kid. It was a really good show and we all enjoyed it. We rarely go to the movies and dad usually falls asleep. But he stayed awake and the experience was so fun we made plans to do it again the next weekend to see the new Toy Story in 3D! Cool.
And now I have a seven year old son. Wow.
**Addendum: Saw the movie last Saturday and Story Story 3 in 3D is a super movie! And the 3D experience was not annoying or scary. We never felt the need to remove our glasses. But there was one scary part in the movie but T held it together has he held my hand and the toys escaped what appeared to be almost certain death. Whew.