Friday, January 25, 2008

A Day in the Life: Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday. Fine young middle gent is now officially five. He got to choose his birthday breakfast: French toast, melon, bacon, and the last of our summer blackberries.

Winter birds. We've got robins and crows and all kinds of little flitty chirpy birds. I wish they'd just hold still for a moment so while we look them up in the bird book. When they're on the fly it's hard to distinguish whether this one has a white stripe across the ridge of its brow, or that one has rusty patches along the rump.

We've been scolded several times, both at home and outside our lovely piano teacher's house, by a kind of a jay that we've been trying to identify, a blueish bird with a light gray chest and a dark head. First-grade gent was supposed to finish yesterday's science, but he spied the bird hopping about on our neighbor's lawn across the street, so we all bundled up and out we went to sit in the driveway. It was 26 degrees, but gloriously sunny. The driveway froze our bums, but it was peaceful sitting to listen to the birds. Our bird song book came in handy. We played the call of the Stellar's jay, and a curious (or defensive or territorial, maybe) jay called back, and even perched on a branch on our yard until the bouncy gents made the bird nervous and it flew away. We think these jays are Western scrub jays. They're beautiful and they're all over the neighborhood. The birds will make a lovely addition to our nature notebooks.

To the bakery to choose a cake. This young gent turned giddy at the idea of choosing his own cake, so we piled in the car and drove to Sweet Life Patisserie. He picked a cake called Strawberries and Cream. I practically started drooling right there. We cheated a little and the gents got tiny cakes, petit-fours, even though we planned to eat birthday cake later. Shhhh...don't tell.

The young man helping us at the counter was positively charming. He did not ask me if I'd said, "Polly" or "Tommy" or "Tully" or say, "Huh?" with furrowed brow when I asked if he'd please write fine young gent's name on the cake. He noticed that I had my hands full with three excited gents, the little cakes for those gents, and a full bowl of coffee--one of those round wide cups that promptly slopped coffee all over the table when I set it next to an exuberant cake-elated young person. Helpful Guy smilingly brought out my cannoli, some forks and the birthday cake in a box, and even checked to make sure he'd spelled "Tolly" correctly (he had) before he sealed the box. I love taking my fine young gents out and about but on occasion it's like herding cats, as the expression goes. We manage just fine, usually manage gracefully even. And today, thanks to Helpful Guy, I had a few moments to settle with my guys and enjoy my coffee.

A little help kindly given goes a long way. So whoever you are, Helpful Guy, thank you from the bottom of this hands-full momma's heart.

Birthday Wrappings:

A pillow sham, a large fabric gift bag, a small white box (reused) decorated with dragons by lovely artistic lady, and the packing paper from one of fine young gent's birthday packages decorated with the birthday boy's own fine handprints in his favorite colors.

Prizes inside the wrappings:
A backpack, cars, Legos, a book and a t-shirt with some kind of beetle on the front. His last present is on the way. We knew our bug-crazy gent would get a kick out of a praying mantis study kit. I almost ordered the praying mantis set while I was doing my Christmas shopping, but I decided that no, I'd remember to order before his birthday rolled around.

Who was I kidding? I can barely remember what day it is, much less that I'd decided to wait to order a gift.

Until yesterday when I wrapped gifts, I was convinced that the praying mantis kit was safely stashed away on the closet. I'd thought about ordering it. I forgot that I hadn't actually done it. His fine young cousin was supposed to get the same gift. Oh well. Good things come to those who wait, right? Plus, I had also forgotten to clear fine young cousin's gift with my sister. It's always a good idea to check with someone's mom before you gift that someone with bugs. Especially bugs with long legs and beady eyes. I think she was very relieved to find that the kit comes with a bug enclosure.

My guy is five. Five! I still remember so clearly the gray day when he was born, how good it felt to welcome him and hold him. He was so little.

Life is good.


sjrains said...

Happy Birthday sweet sweet Tolly!!!! Wonderful pictures, Cat. He is just a doll! And, if I may, would he pick out MY next birthday cake from that sweet little shop! Wow...yum-MEEEE! Sounds like a wonderful birthday with more fun presents on the way ;o) Happy Happy Day to him! Julie

living in PA said...

I hope you had a wonderful birthday you wonderful five year old!!