Thursday, August 8, 2013

Birthdays and Sprinklers

My birthday this year was a busy one. I had a normal day at work, and then I went to chorus rehearsal. Hey - it's Tuesday night. It's chorus rehearsal night. That's why most of my vacations are planned between Wednesday and Monday. Tuesday is chorus, and has been ever since I joined the Dapper Dans back in 2002. When I got up to run, the rest of the family stayed asleep. I actually left home at 7:30 for work, a tad later than normal, and they were all still asleep. They did call around 9 o'clock to sing a group happy birthday, which was nice.

Chorus rehearsal was really quite nice. My chorus all brought in cookies - my acknowledged favorite - and wrapped them up to give to me. So, my house is loaded down with cookies. So much for keeping gluten free this week. It was really cute and really sweet, and it is very, very touching. I'm a very lucky man.

Wednesday night, Grandma and Grandpa volunteered to watch the boys while The Wife and I caught a baseball game - so, of course, it rained. Instead, we had a nice dinner at Red Robin (free birthday burger!), followed by a showing of Red 2, the action comedy. Both the burger and the evening were wonderful. My birthday present was a coffee grinder, which replaces the grinding coffee brewer that just broke down after four years of steady use. Right now, we're not so big in presents / same-day celebrations for birthdays. Our schedules are kind of rigid, and we don't have the option to cancel things that we have planned just because of a birthday. It's not that important.

Tuesday night, the boys had a good group violin class. It was only them, again, but Little Bear participated fully from the beginning to the end. The Boy took a little bit of convincing, but he eventually capitulated and began to play. I'm glad to hear that. Part of playing an instrument as a youth and in school is the social aspect; when the boys see that friends can play instruments with them, practicing becomes a bit easier.

Side note: The Baby continues to call Little Bear by the full sobriquet, "Jesse Bear." That's amazingly funny and really, really cute. I hope the name sticks for a little while, anyway. I just call him "Little Bear" all the time, because it amuses me to do so.

Little Bear got a really, really cool Superman shirt that has its own cape. It's a t-shirt with velcro on the shoulders, where the cape attaches, and it mimics the top of Superman's costume. It's pretty awesome, and it's now his favorite shirt. He's still making cape out of paper, even though we're trying (futilely) to forbid the scotch tape attachments. He likes drawing the modified pentagon with the S in it, around which he writes, "Man of Steel." I think we need to read him more Superman stories, so that he gets the idea of the humility and moral code of the man.He's more than just punching bad guys. He's got a solid, mid-Western set of values and a staunch idea of justice and truth.

Monday night, on a chilly-ish evening, the boys and I went to the park. The sprinklers are on at our local playground, which is an irresistible attraction for little boys. But, because I'm not a n00b to this whole parenting thing, I had planned ahead. I brought new clothes and towels, and when The Boy and The Baby headed for the sprinkler, I stripped them down to their underwear and let them go nuts. We were at the park for about an hour, and The Boy ran around barefoot in his underpants for the entire time. The Baby got cold after about five minutes; very little is cuter and more pathetic than a tiny little boy, shivering, resisting coming out of the water to play. He griped about being cold until I got him dried off and changed. I thought Little Bear would be smarter than his brothers; but, about a half hour into the park stay, he stripped down to play in the water as well. Sigh. He lasted until we were ready to go home. The neat thing? All three boys crammed themselves into the wagon for the short trip home. Made it tougher to pull, but they seemed to enjoy that.

It won't be long before the three boys will fit in nothing but a car together...

The Boy went school shopping the other day. Kindergarten starts later this month. Kind of excited about it, but filled with trepidation. He's such a sweet, friendly, smart little boy... I want to protect him from the idiots and bullies that he'll encounter. I know I can't, and I know that he's going to be able to take care of himself (if not, he'll start lifting with me in the mornings). I know that I can't, and I know that it's only my job to protect him from the stuff that he CAN'T protect himself, but still... he's The Boy, you know?

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