wow, here we are already a whole week after dillon's birthday and i'm just now documenting it! it was a long, fun-filled weekend, for sure. this year we broke from tradition and had his party the saturday before his actual birthday. in the past, we've always celebrated on the real day, june 14th, but this plan left us with monday to spend together as a family. on saturday, dillon had 3 friends over. they played in the creek (of course), ate a bbq dinner, had cake, and played a lot. then one of the friends spent the night camped out in the tent in our yard after roasting marshmallows over the bonfire and running around in the dark with flashlights.
just look at that face! pure joy
sunday night the birthday table was prepared waiting to greet a new 9 year old in the morning
dillon got to choose the plan for the day on monday. we went to the beach, then out for a sushi dinner and back down to the shore for ice cream afterwards!
as i write this, the sweet smell of birthday cake cooling on the counter wafts through the house, the big boys are getting the tent cozy for tomorrow night's slumber party, and the little one is napping. sometimes people assume that by the time you have 3 kids, you must be an old pro. it's true that many things do get easier the more experience one gains, but many other things get more complicated. i've been thinking about how many pregnancy, birth and early child hood books i read when my first was coming along. i think i read one book on pregnancy the second time around (ina may gaskin's newer book) and by now it seems all the reading i'm doing is focused on where my oldest son is at. this last week i was grateful to have my memory jogged by two great resources, which is necessary from time to time because even though the information is in my brain somewhere, i can't always find it when i need it. donna ashton over at the waldorf connection has a great homeschool expo going on right now with lots of great free online workshops. last week i listened to her talk with kim john payne, author of simplicity parenting, which i highly recommend. and one of my absolute favorite blogs, the parenting passageway, had another gem which i've been meditating on for the last few days. she reminds us to keep these 3 simple things in mind when parenting through tantrums and squabbles: don't act in the heat of the moment. wait for everyone to calm down so you can guide and take advantage of a teachable moment. try to help everyone (including mom) identify and express their needs. or for younger ones, interpret those needs for them. and finally, DO something. get up and physically help your kids and try to stay away from too many words. these ideas and those that were discussed on the expo talk were nothing new to me, but i found myself listening and reading and having these "aha" moments. like, "oh yeah, i've really been forgetting x,y, and z." so give thanks for these crucial reminders that are helping me stay sane and positive!
wow, 9 years of dillon! as we count down the days to his birthday, i'm feeling nostalgic and going through all these wonderful old pictures. too bad we didn't have a digital camera when he was a baby. anyone know how to transfer those old-fashioned ones to the computer? what a sweet and tender soul we were gifted with dillon, my first born son. he made me a mother and has taught me and tested me more than i ever could have imagined. my heart swells when i see him as the proud biggest brother, the nature lover, the builder, the artist. don't get me wrong, he can also make me want to pull my hair out when i see him being not so nice to his middle brother, or "not hearing" me when i repeat myself a million times. but i wouldn't trade any of those crazy-making days for anything in the world. i'm growing right alongside him as we travel this incredible journey together and for that, i am so grateful.
the weather has been so heavenly and the smell in the air is just intoxicating! of course, this means lots of time at the creek with my boys.
the other day i even got about 10 rows done on my humble little first knitting project while the boys played.
sunday we got a surprise phone call from some beloved friends who were in town beckoning us to come to the beach to play. seven hours later, my little guy was way tuckered out! now we're gearing up for dillon's birthday-- 9 years old!