Sunday, January 20, 2008

Balloon time!

It's very quiet here, right now. The gang have all gone off to pick up balloons for Ori's little party - two children (one other who is visiting his grandfather's in Rochester will come by next weekned) for a playdate, some cake, juice, and fun. Not a big deal. But this birthday, in perspective, is the biggest birthday I think a child can have. It represents for me a loss of babyhood, completely. It is time to use words, push against mama more than ever, in some cases for the first time. It begins a process of weaning from the parent that will continue for the next 15+ years, but didn't happen last year, and certainly not the year before. Until now, it's really been all about being close to me, to us. About sleeping close, being close in strange new places, being held or touched or in some way connected to me/us pretty much all the time. And now, for the first time, there is some expectation that he can participate without us - gymnastics, library story time, even the concept of preschool beginning at 3 (which if we do will begin at 3.9 for Ori) is all about that break away moment for them.

I believe it doesn't happen because of balloons or a cake, but because it takes about that long for their willfulness to mature into something they can control - not random willful behaviour, as had been the case, but focused, directed stubborn behaviour. Directed and focused almost entirely at me, but that's par for the mama course, isn't it! And I'm really good with that. When Beca turned three, I so clearly remember her at her party, all the neighbor kids in the backyard, splashing in the hot tub and playing in the sand box. She had such a fabulous good time, and really enjoyed the attnention ( not to mention gifts lol) that I can remember looking at her and seeing for the first time a child who was full of her own desires and dreams, whos likes and dislikes were forming at an alarming rate, but who would not be swayed by my own opinions anymore. From trying a new food, to wanting or not wanting school/clubs/sports, she had formed her own opinions of things and was now sort of done w/me and my silly adult opinions.

I don't think Ori is in that same place on his 3rd birthday, but I can see him getting there rapidly. He is still a very cuddly little fellow, with a huge need for connection, and I am so grateful for that! It's lovely to have his sticky little hands holding mine, his sweet smelling breath in my nose at night, his deep brown eyes looking for me at the gymnasium, connecting, smiling, and then running back off to join the group.

I think aside from cake, balloons are the thing he wanted the most today. So we got a pack of helium ones, and daddy will blow up a bunch of others for kicking around during the play party. It's all good fun for him, everything a smile and a giggle. He is thrilled with the gifts he received - an engine wash from Didi and Uncle Ken, two new games for his First Click computer from Grandma and Poppy, tree blocks, Smiley Face game, and a basketball set up from Daddy and me, and a new card game from Beca. Joyce sent him two balance games (cactus one is TOO CUTE) as well, so he is full up on games and toys to last the whole year long! He is very appreciative, makes wonderful eye contact and lights up the room with his gratitude and joy. It's amazing... He's such an amazing little person, I am so very appreciative of his energy and spirit here with us right now. I feel like a blessing has been dropped on us in the way of a 3yo 30lb bomb of a little boy - can I gush enough???

So, the gang returns, and it is time to get the cake iced. Balloons will fill the house, and I look forward to that more than I can say with words. :D

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