Time Vortex

Is it possible it’s been more than six months since I posted? I’ve had “write blog” on every To Do list I’ve created and it’s finally haunted me enough to sit down and take action. I will purge my guilt here in a lengthy post but if you only have a few moments, here is an executive summary:

  • Walker turned five and had a fantastic superhero party in which I stayed up until four in the morning creating two dozen pink and blue capes for the kids to decorate.
  • Walker has glasses that make him look, oh so dapper and studious. He loves them because it’s like he gets to wear “gear” everyday. We got him a little grass fedora hat at his favorite event, the Marin County Fair which really completes his look.
  • We had a tree in the back fall into the neighbor’s yard and then had to have two others removed. Then, when Larry went to Comic Con I got a bee in my bonnet about removing the retaining wall and the dirt in the back. I posted free paving stones on Craigslist and within two hours, they were all gone. The dirt is still there, mocking me.
  • The Pacific Primary graduation was fantastic and surprising no one, Walker OWNED his time in the spotlight by sauntering through the arc to receive his plant (all the other kids ran).
  • Two days later Walker started kindergarten and received a “Lakeshore Star” the first day of school for helping another student who was sad.
  • I lost 20 pounds. My strategy: 1) have an autoimmune disease 2) ignore it until it’s a problem and then treat yourself using sketchy information from the InterWebs 3) go to the doctor but it’s too late so you contract complications that might as well have been some sort of horrible Harry Potter-esque curse. I don’t recommend this approach to anyone faint of heart but I do look mahvelous.
  • Little Man had decided that although it’s lonely, he’s no longer too scared to sleep all by himself in his big loft bed he’s outfitted to look like the Avengers Helicarrier
  • Walker started Little Ninja classes and has broken multiple boards with his hands and feet as well as participating in his first competition (he took home an enormous second place trophy).
  • I love the creativity but we simply don’t have enough room (and I’m too much of a pushover to bring a bulldozer into the house). Walker has filled the house with partially cut boxes he’s used to create elaborate robot costumes, computers, spaceships or games.
  • Hanukkah lasted the regulation eight days this year and Walker light the candles each night and memorize the prayer BUT we did give him a Santa suit on the last night. I’m sure he will mull over that memory when he gets older.

Now, you may ignore the rest unless you’re really trying to avoid work. There are photos and a video which are worth a peek so I won’t feel wounded if you decide to simply scroll to the good parts.


***

A long overdue note to Mr. Walker Young…

Mr. Pie. I was right. You turned five and changed from a my little baby to my little boy. But I am not sad as I thought I would be. And I shouldn’t be surprised. You make life an exciting adventure — I’m just along for the ride.

You have become a strong and independent personality equipped with the ability and confidence to let us know EXACTLY what you’re thinking. You went to the doctor and found out you needed glasses. You were so excited to be able to wear “gear” that you wanted them immediately. You could hardly wait the week to have them delivered. And, every single day since then, you have taken responsibility for your glasses, kept them safe, and have worn them with pride. Your first day of kindergarten seemed like a non-event to you while Daddy and I had to hold back tears as we walked you from the play yard to your new classroom with your own little chair. Of course, you had already made a few friends within the first fifteen minutes.


You have no problem telling Daddy and I when we’ve upset or disappointed you in some way. Your clarity, self-awareness, and ability to communicate the indiscretion is impressive. Sometimes you will even put some distance between the situation and the discussion, waiting a day or two before telling us how you felt. How I wish I had your maturity in similar situations.

All of this is on my mind because the last few months have been pretty rough. When you grow up and you read this, you may have a hazy memory of when Mommy was sick. All of a sudden, I couldn’t play with you, take you to Ninja class or crawl up into your bunk bed to read you bedtime stories. I had a hard time walking and there were some days, I simply couldn’t get out of bed. But you were my stoic Little Man. You brought me snacks, gave me lots of hugs and never got upset even though I know there was some part of you that was pretty scared. You became a bit more independent during that time — deciding you could sleep, dress and brush your teeth by yourself. (Thankfully, you still enjoy frequent snuggles and falling asleep with your hands on my cheeks.)

A few months later and twenty pounds lighter, I’m feeling much better and there are few words to express my gratitude.

You’ve been doing incredibly well in school and have made friends with so many wonderful children. You’re starting to read and we really are enjoying experiencing the process. It’s so fun to hear you sound out words (“N…E…T…F…L…I…X” as you start up the app on the iPad to watch PowerRangers) and guess the spelling of words. I’m saving much of your early writing including the “STR WRS” comic book you made Daddy for Christmas (you really don’t like vowels right now).

You’re now old enough to really be competitive (which, I admit, you come by honestly). I don’t believe we’ve ever played a game by the written rules. You combine your desire to win with your creativity and establish elaborate rules that become so convoluted and difficult to follow that I often forget what we’re playing. And our hallway has become your own personal Colosseum. Our photos, the paint and poor Raow are worse for wear given your increased strength but lack of finesse when playing whatever ball game you’ve created. You also started your Little Ninja classes and experienced your first competition. You ran fast, stacked pads and balance kicked your way to second place (out of three participants) but you couldn’t be more proud of your enormous trophy.

You often act older than your years and show a self-awareness I wish I possessed. When Gigi came to visit you astonished us when we were taking her to the airport after a full day of Little Ninjas, gingerbread house building and your first steak dinner, by asking, “Does Gigi have her suitcase? I didn’t see her put it in the car and I don’t want her to forget it.” A few days later, you were demonstrating to our neighbor how if a stranger is near, you run away and yell “STRANGER! STRANGER! STRANGER!” but you ran and whispered it. When Daddy asked you why you weren’t yelling you replied matter-of-factly (and a bit surprised at why he was asking…), “But I don’t want anyone to think I’m in trouble.”

You have a big heart and I love your sensitivity. Your emotions are so pure and genuine. When your friends are sad, you’re the first one there to help. You make cozy homes and warm beds for your stuffies and have so many favorites, there’s very little room left for you in your bed. You’re always making something for me, Daddy or one of your friends. And you are very proud to have given Noah a bunch of your clothes (and you’re even starting to warm up to the idea of giving away some of your old toys!) You’ve also begun to show a interest in what you wear (other than costumes). When shopping for your winter coat, you spied a pinstripe suit with a brown oxford, vest and tie. You begged us to wear it to school but we told you not until after Thanksgiving. You put it on the first day back because you wanted your friend Athena to see you in it. She thought it was a very nice suit.


Christmas started soon after Halloween and we practically had to force Thanksgiving upon you. Gigi came out to celebrate with us and we made a Pumpkin Turkey centerpiece with feathers of gratefulness. You were most grateful for Santa Claus. Family and friends made it to the list after a bit of prodding. I told you we couldn’t make the foam gingerbread house until after Thanksgiving. The minute we returned from the meal, you asked if we could build it. We even got your photo with Santa before Thanksgiving. We went to get you a new backpack and Santa had just gotten set up for the season. Despite being dressed in your pirate gear (sweater, hat, and sword), you sat on Santa’s lap and told him about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Nunchucks and the Switch and Go Dino that you couldn’t live without. I am not complaining because your enthusiasm has made the season so much fun. You picked out great toys to donate at the fire station, we made many batches of Christmas goodies and decorations, and you experienced your first Caroling (although you enjoyed ringing the doorbell and running away more than staying to sing). Lucky you, you get two holidays.

You have always loved Hanukkah — this year we kept it to eight days but you lit the candles every night and you memorized the prayer in just a few days. (You seemed to like knowing another language so much that you asked Daddy how to say “Goodbye” in Hanukkah.) One day, when you’re confused about your beliefs, you can tell your friends that you come by it honestly because your parents sent you mixed messages by giving you a Santa costume for the last day of Hanukkah. But you may be OK given your current favorite book is “Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama,” so I guess I have little to worry about.

I am grateful for how close you are with your Daddy. You two have so much fun after he picks you up from school — although I’m not sure where to put all the boxes. You’ve impressed us with your ability to build anything out of paper and cardboard — a robot costume, wrist communicators, Hawkeye’s bow and arrow, and even a foozball table. You can play with this stuff for hours and proudly wear it around the neighborhood (you’d wear it to the store but we convinced you it’s too hard to buckle you into your carseat in a box robot costume). You started the trend by making the most incredible rock and roll costume out of paper to mimic the guy on Dance Dance Revolution and then made Batman and Flash costumes for your Angry Bird stuffy while I made my Halloween capes.

As I write this and think about how big and mature you’re getting, I’m reminded that you’re still my little boy, sleeping next to me in your Woody jammies, snoring, with your head on my shoulder. Your fingers are entwined in the ears of Dirty Bunny and Blue Eared Bunny (poor Clean Bunny is no longer favored because he’s, well, too clean).

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