Happiest of Henry's birthday to you and yours


Perhaps you do not know that this is the holiest of holy days, that being The Day When He Who Couldn't Wait to Turn 11 Finally Turns 11. We eat the macaroni and cheese and we consume the frostingest of cakes to celebrate His glorious birth and subsequent descent (ascent?) into Minecraft/Magic The Gathering obsession.

I don't know how you celebrate Henry's birthday, but we turned it into a weekend-long affair. On Saturday we took our beloved and his pals to a terrible adventure park. This is a place where no one over the age of 15 should ever step foot, where all the animatronic everythings harangue you about having fun and all the speakers blast any music they could get the rights to. Scott and I spent the day trying to find a quiet corner in which to chat, and failing miserably. Naturally it's our kid's favorite place, so what the hell. As long as it didn't involve a sleepover, we were game.

Last year's sleepover did not go so well, mostly because boys in the 10-12 age range appear to be nuts. I'm sure girls are, too, but they don't come to our sleepovers, so I can't speak for them. I can only tell you about boys, and for that matter, I can only tell you about Henry's friends, all of whom are bright and complicated and impulsive and charming and maddening and smelly and loud. Load 'em up with sugar and deny them sleep, and watch their Inner Psychopaths come out to play. So after last year we said: never again. Maybe when we get the house with a separate wing and a team of caregivers to monitor the children. Some kind of automated shower system to disinfect them before they entire the home and remove their shoes. Maybe then. MAYBE.

So Henry had his adventure-park day and last night my family all came over and loaded him up with more Magic The Gathering cards than you would believe existed, and he hyperventilated with joy. Today being his official birthday, there are even more gifts coming, but the pressure's off, since he already deemed this THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER. Hope he's happy with all the socks I bought him!

You would think I'd be used to this whole Growing Up thing since Henry does it every year--does it all the time, in fact; he's doing it right now--but every now and then I get a little woozy when I think about how goddamn big he is. The other day I remembered the song his cousin Paul wrote for him, eight years ago; the one where Henry sings and he is three and the cutest thing on two legs. Then I listened to it LIKE A FOOL and I cried my eyes right out of my head. I had to practice my deep breathing and remind myself that three-year-olds are annoying and eleven is better. Eventually I calmed down and cleaned myself up and I told Henry about the song. We listened to it together, and it was great. And I realized that I don't have to miss him: he's still around. Only better, because now he can shower without my help, get his own breakfast, and tell me jokes that are actually funny. He's a good one. This is a day worth celebrating, at least at our house. 

[Hey! I've been a guest blogger at The Prowl for the past month. Want to see my boards? There you go.]