Saturday, May 30, 2009
My Shiny Penny
Photos include Aidan on May 28; the Shiny Penny with his mom, waiting for the party to begin; and Superheroes receiving instruction from the Training Camp Coordinator!
May 28, 2009 - Aidan's 5th birthday. It is hard to imagine he is five years old, and yet life without him seems like the distant-and-not-as-glorious past. Aidan is our "shiny penny." Our family friend/music director at our church nicknamed him that, and it fits him to a T. His bright, happy smile attracts you to him; he's someone you want to carry around with you; you'll never miss noticing him because he is unique among his peers.
Aidan is sensitive and loving in ways that continue to surprise me, and when I least expect it. He'll spend the morning antagonizing Leo, but suddenly when Leo falls and bumps his elbow, it's Aidan who runs to the freezer to get the ice pack for him. Aidan can sense sometimes when I am at the end of my rope, especially with Leo, and will spontaneously offer up a hug and a kiss. Aidan articulates his thoughts and the connections he makes in the world with shocking accuracy and insight. Recently when we were reviewing letters, he observed, "Mommy, all the letters in my name are made using at least one line. In fact, most of the letters have a straight line, except for ones like o's." (These are the words that reading specialists dream of hearing, because they indicate that a child is forming connections based on the relationships between letters, rather than simply rote memorization of how to form the characters.) Another day, Aidan observed that children are like trees, because they both start out small but both grow to be much taller.
Aidan is also exasperating and frustrating. Some days, I thought I'd never survive the F-word - FOUR [years old]. But by being exasperating and frustrating, he has taught me to be a much better parent. His behavior demands it! If my discipline style does not mesh with his needs, he refuses to comply until I think of a better way, because it is my job to do so. I am richly rewarded, though, once I am finished yanking out my hair and gnashing my teeth.
A good creative writing teacher would tell my that my words fail to describe and capture Aidan, and she would be right. A good creative writing teacher would say to me, "Show, don't tell." Yet I still find it impossible to choose the right words, the right adjectives that do justice to my Aidan, to show who he is and why we love him exactly as he is....
We celebrated his 5th birthday with a Superhero Training Camp party, and it was a roaring success. It is perhaps the most fun I've had hosting a kids' birthday party.... so far, at least. Guests consulted on the decorations for their capes, made cool masks, and chose Superhero names and super powers. Newly named guests included Earth Wing, Doctor Brain, Rocket Boy, Mighty Mite, and Chameleon Genie. Super powers ranged from time travel, extraordinary luck, and unaided outer space travel to speed reading, ice generation, and super breath. Superheroes were tested in their stances, speed, agility, and aim at hitting terrible villains - all in the name of doing good deeds - through a series of crafts, games, and activities. Nine Superheroes received certificates upon successful completion of the Training Camp, and they were happy campers, indeed!
I have survived!* (*See post "I Will Survive" from Monday, August 25, 2008). And so begins a new era, a new F-word - Five - which initially seems to be Fun and Fabulous, as opposed to the Fierce and Fearful age of Four. Hooray and Happy Birthday, Aidan!