Friday, September 5, 2014

Birthday (The) Boy

On Saturday, The Boy turned 7.

We didn't do a whole lot of unusual activities for the weekend. Friday night, I took the boys to services, where they were having services in the garden. They did pretty well for themselves - they're becoming accustomed to attending services, so they know what's expected. I've taken them to services by myself a few times, so they could hear The Wife singing, and we're good like that. I like the fact that she's becoming respected in the congregation, and having her boys come around and behave well is something that reflects well upon her.

Saturday, the day of the birthday, dawned clear and warm. After a nice morning jog, the boys and I hung around the house until we got ready to go to the farmer's market and then to play minigolf at the Family Park. The boys didn't do a good job at the farmer's market - fighting and wrestling on the little rocks in the parking lot (displaying no common sense at all) and culminating on The Boy wiping his sticky, strawberry-popsicle-red mouth on the middle of my nice, clean, white t-shirt. So, we went home and did some house cleaning until Mom got home. Daddy don't play that way.

Shockingly, the entire family (except The Boy) napped for the next hour and a half or so. The Boy played with legos in the next room while the four of us passed out. When we woke and stirred (two different events), we went to T's 40th birthday party. Wwe had an absolutely brilliant time, and we wound up staying until after 9:30!!!

There was a little girl there, about The Boy's age, and T has a 3-year old son. So, the kids were running around the house playing games and fighting epic battles against villains for hours and hours. When those games finally wavered, we had dinner and cake, and then the kids discovered the karaoke machine in the basement. So, we sang karaoke for a couple of hours.

The Boy and I played some chess, as well, which was pretty awesome. He actually beat me in the first game! I'm very proud of him. I am - at best - a journeyman chess player at this point my life, but I was not intentionally playing down to his level. (Although, I did point out a couple of bad moves when he made them - reminding him to look for my pieces' abilities to attack before deciding on a final move.) Guru helped him, too, which was also nice. Not telling him where to move - but reminding him to check where my pieces were before moving and trying to help him think a move or two

in the future.

The boys passed out on the way home from the party, as you'd expect.


It rained all day on Sunday. The Boy picked breakfast at IHOP, and then we hung out around the house for much of the day. I made a lego table for the boys - took their train table, flipped over the table base from the painted-train side, and glued Lego plates to it. I used small Legos to make sure the spacing between plates was even, and I even had to trim down a few sheets to that the edges matched the edges of the table.

We had dinner at a hibachi place near home, which was The Boy's choice and Grandpa's treat. They love talking to the chefs and watching them light stuff on fire. It wasn't a great evening - a few personal conflicts with which I was dealing prevented full concentration on the children - but I enjoy any time time I can spend around the boys.


On Labor Day, I labored. We had a big tree with huge, big, sharp thorns; I took it, chopped it into tiny, tiny bits, and disposed of it, only leave a stump and four branches that were too thick to really cut back any more. I still need to do some more work back there - replace some railroad ties that are a retaining wall, trim some bushes - but I have some time before winter sets in.

As I've been reminding myself, I'm raising three small boys. I'm not raising a garden. I'm fairly sure that spending time playing games with them and building with them - and teaching them to use a baseball mitt (another big project for the day) - is going to be something I remember for years. I mean, compare the numbers. What do people say more: "I wish I had spent more time with my kids," or "I wish I had trimmed the bushes more regularly?"

We did get to the Family Park yesterday, and we did play minigolf. We swam for a little while before it started REALLY raining, so we went home. The rest of the evening was playing catch with the boys and traumatizing Little Bear by watching the Doctor Who episode, "The Name of the Doctor," which had some really scary bits and creepy monsters in it. He was really bothered by it - was crying about it a couple of hours later - but, to his credit, he did stay in the room until the end of the episode. That's an improvement for him. He's a skittish kid.

Granted, The Boy's response was, "Was it that scary? I want to see it! Daddy, can we watch it together?" That's my boy. The Wife doesn't like horror / thriller stuff like I do, so the kids' dispositions might follow both of us.

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