Friday, November 7, 2014


I pleaded with Charles to let me film him answering questions about himself for his birthday.  I had hoped to post an adorable video of my eloquent six-year-old telling the world about his dreams, the things he loves best, and his favorite superheroes, but that’s just not Charles.  Unguarded, without a camera, he lights up my days with his stories, his singing, and his play, but he refuses to perform on command.


DSCN1904Birthday dinner: Chicken with Skin (rotisserie chicken), potatoes, and carrots

It’s okay.  I still manage to record the most precious or amusing things that come out of his mouth, usually via a text sent to Tony as I’m snickering just far enough away that Charles doesn’t hear me.  The other day, he was talking in the shower, yelling in a super-hero voice, “I’m the JANITOR!  Dude!  I’m washing the windows!”




In the past year, Charles has reached so many milestones: first sleepover, first day camp, first day of kindergarten, first loose tooth (it hasn’t fallen out, yet!).  He is learning to read, and will sit and laboriously sound out his Bob books until he can read each page aloud with ease.  He used to have trouble concentrating, but now he’ll happily sit and listen to me read aloud a chapter book for a half-hour at a time.  He is doing really well in Spanish class and when I ask him how his day went when I pick him up from school, he’ll often tell me, “I only got Steps ONCE today!” (Steps is the school’s version of time out.)  He has good friends with whom he plays elaborate vampire-hunting games on the playground or, sometimes, the more prosaic game of basketball.  He occasionally has cafeteria lunch, which is far more adventurous than I was at his age (my mom made me peanut-butter-and-honey sandwiches for at least a year straight).



RescueBots!  Roll to the rescue!


Charles is the “experiment” kid: when faced with a problem or parental dilemma, we experiment.  Often, what we decide to do doesn’t work and we have to make course corrections.  We are still learning how to manage, after all, and Charles bears the brunt of that.  Despite the mistakes Tony and I make, Charles continues to be a happy, well-adjusted, hard-working, respectful child.  I am so proud of him and I love him so much.


As I look over the last year, I see how much easier things have been with him.  We left behind the Fucking Fours and settled into much easier routines with low strife in our daily existence.  I’m the first to admit that I LOVE babies and the “baby stage,” but damned if I’m not seeing just how wonderful the next several years are going to be – kids able to entertain themselves for vast chunks of time, fewer fights about getting dressed and eating vegetables, boys bathing their own stinky feet, interesting books to read together.  There are good things on the horizon, and Charles is the taste of what’s to come for all of our boys.


Birthdays, I think, are becoming more fun, too.  This one, certainly, has been less of a production (perhaps because I am so much busier than I’ve ever been before) than in years past.  We had family dinner and a few presents last night and then will have a pretty casual LEGO party on Saturday with friends.


Charles received four totally awesome gifts yesterday: Transformers toys from Grandma Jane and Grandpa Roger with which he and Jamie have not stopped playing; a ray-blaster gun from Leland; and two less-conventional gifts, a knife and a haircut.



Kids need pocket knives.  I expect him to cut himself on it by next summer.



Tony and Leland’s barber does amazing hair designs.  This is Lightning McQueen’s number and, of course, some lightning.


I’m so blessed.


Megan and Jeff Vogel said...

Oh boy, you have to tell me the name of this barber!

Tony Cook said...

His name is Antonio De La Cruz and he has Cruz Firme in Mount Vernon near Hart's Floral. He also has a FB page where you can see some of the other work he's done. Great guy and a wonderful talent.