Growing Up

Kindergarten. DONE.

First tooth. GONE.

Little Ninjas. GRADUATED.

Reading. YUP.

 

I can’t ignore it, my little Walker-Pie is growing up and it feels like he’s going to be heading off to college in no time (although I do wish he’d wait or he will be Community College bound…)

This year has flown by. Walker had an amazing year at Lakeshore and I’m so impressed by his teacher, Ms. Lafferty. She made it incredibly fun to learn and I didn’t realize it but Walker was basically ready to read when he finished school. We bought some beginner books at Costco and I was shocked when Walker started reading them to me. Now we just need to get confident with it so Walker must read a bit to me before I read to him each night.

Walker was having gummies for a snack before swimming the last week of school. He bit into it and exactly two weeks later, out came the bottom left tooth to be collected by The Rat who exchanged it for a really nice, one-time deposit. The rest of his teeth will exchanged  in line with market rates.

One reason for the long gap in the blogs has been because life has been, well, insanely crazy since of February. We went sledding in Tahoe, I travelled to Berlin, we went on a cruise with the family for Gigi’s 90th birthday (blog to come), we went camping with Pacific Primary friends, I inadvertently got elected PTA President, I planned all the summer activities (boy, I’m an advocate year-round schooling), I coached soccer (go Black Leopards!), we got a kitten, migrated two domains (sites and emails), vacationed at Joshua Tree (never thought I’d say I had a great time in 109 degree weather!), and started planning a Secret Agent birthday party. So while I’ve been up super late nights and up early in the morning, I haven’t had the energy to collect my thoughts and chronicle Little Pie’s activities.


So, we got this kitten. Her name is Toodles and we got her for two reasons. Raow needed a friend so she would stop attacking my legs when I walked down the hall. We also wanted to get a cat who would cuddle and purr with Walker so he wouldn’t think all cats were so…independent shall we say. Toodles came from the SF SPCA and was the favorite of the entire staff. As we had adopted a cat from there with “behavior issues,” they were fantastic in helping us find a friend who would compliment her. SUCCESS! The first few days were touch an go. Thirteen-pound Raow would follow around the five-pound kitten and look at her imploringly to play. Luckily Toodles warmed up to Raow and the two of them tousle and wrestle from 4:30am through 11pm. I know this because they team up at 4am to get fed. If I don’t do their bidding, Toodles jumps up into Walker’s loft bed and looks for fingers or toes to snack on until I shoo them out of the room and barricade the door. I sleep next to the Little Man, hoping to make it to 6am but alas, by 5am, the two cats have teamed up to push the door open using Raow’s considerable weight. Every morning it’s the same routine so I’m currently researching timed feeders.

Poor Walker was heavily scheduled this Spring. He had swimming, baseball and soccer (we put Little Ninja’s on hiatus). There were days when we had a soccer game, a baseball game, and a birthday party which were all enjoyed to the fullest. Much to my dismay, Walker was full of energy at the end of the day while Larry and I were catatonic. Walker had a good time playing baseball with our neighbor Dylan and phenomenal Coach John. However, we did spend much of the time reminding him to stand up and not make dust piles. Soccer was a bit more engaging, primarily because he was running the entire time but also because he was very proud to have me and Larry coach the team. I organized two teams for Lakeshore kindergarten and we ended up playing each other most of the season (we accidentally registered in the level with the first graders and I swear, that year makes such a difference both from a physical perspective as well as from a sportsmanship perspective — our kids were great and the opposing kids were talking SMACK!). I never fancied myself a coach but I think I pulled it off. The kids learned a bit, the parents were super happy, and I didn’t break anything. It was special helping Catalina gain the confidence to get in there and kick the ball (our first game I ran with her, holding her hand until she overcame her fear) and seeing Finley kick a soccer ball more than half way across the field. I loved watching Walker gain ball handling skills, help his teammates, charge the ball when goal keeping, and deepen relationships with his friends.

While on hiatus, he didn’t forget his Little Ninja skills. A young boy in his class started harassing Walker’s friend. Walker had been taught how to handle a bully so he walked right up to the boy and yelled, “Stop! He doesn’t like that. Or I will tell a teacher!” and the little boy replied, “Fine! Now I will bully YOU!” Unphased, Walker looks at the boy and yells, “NO, you WON’T!” and turned on his heel and walked away. I emailed this story to his instructors who rewarded him the “bully” badge and graduated him to regular Ninja training upon his return.


We did our first two-family vacation with kids. It was AWESOME! Lelio is Walker’s best friend and we’ve gotten very friendly with his parents Ranu and Mike. Lelio is a triplet so when we combine the families, we have a small army. We rented a house in Joshua Tree and were greeted with an unseasonably warm (109 degrees) few days. We attempted a short hike one morning but didn’t make it more than a third of the way before everyone became a bit unraveled and we doubled back before it got really ugly. (It was only 11:15am and it was over 100 degrees by the time we returned to the cars.) Walker has been pleading to have Lelio over for a sleepover. One bedroom had two twins and a queen bed so the kids claimed that room. Walker slept with the triplets but in the middle of the night, I hear a faint call… “Mommy…” I head to the bedroom and as my eyes adjust, I count three children. Mine seems to be missing. Beginning to panic, I turn and find him standing behind me. We get into the big bed and I awake the next morning in a room surrounded by small people who wake up very early because they want to do nothing else but bolt out of bed and play with their friends. We had a fantastic time learning about desert wildlife, watching bats, swimming in the pool and driving long distances. Looking forward to doing it again.

I find it difficult to believe my Little Guy is no longer able to count his age on one hand (although my geeky friends point out if he learns binary code, he will be able to do so for his entire life — I love living in a tech bubble). He wanted a Secret Agent birthday so Larry and I planned an event with an obstacle course, a jumpy house, and a scavenger hunt. The kids had a fantastic time wearing their fake mustaches, finding the “lost” agents, and eating “bomb” cakes. It “frained” during the party (the first non-sunny party since he was BORN) which made the party even more of a success as little boys LOVE to splash, get their socks wet, and whip the extra ice at each other. The kids were dry and clean when they arrived and were wet, filthy, and jagged on sugar when they left. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

Walker-Pie. You told Daddy last night you appreciated how hard I worked on the party. Thank you, Mr. Man.  You opened your presents tonight and said, “Exactly what I WANTED!” Thank you, Mr. Man. You fell asleep nestled up close while I scratched your back and you said, “Keep doing that Mommy, it feels nice.” You got it, Mr. Man.

Happy Birthday Walker.

I hope there’s a part of you that NEVER grows up. Keep your joy, your curiosity, your creativity, your love. Don’t let anyone take that away from you — even when I start to vibrate because there are just too many LEGOs, stuffies, boxes with toilet paper tubes taped to the sides, juice cups from how many days ago?, and cheap crap from the Dollar Store strewn across the floor.

Big hugs.

Mommy.

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