Liam, this was a year of big changes for you. Leaving the only house, friends, and family you've ever known and moving across the country. This move included not only a new province, new city, new house, new church and new friends, but also a completely different language. Although you definitely struggled at the beginning, it has been amazing to see how your language skills have exploded this last month - and your confidence also.
Earlier this year, we began using a chore chart with you. This chart includes all of the tasks that you are required to do each day to take care of yourself and your things, and it also lists several tasks that you can do to earn a little bit of money. Each week, you divide your earnings into "save", "give" and "spend" jars. You chose to keep saving your "spend" money until you had enough to buy a larger toy. With the money you received for your birthday, you had a whopping $61 to spend!
For days you talked about everything you were going to get and lamented about how you would be able to make a final decision. You carried your jar around all morning and counted down the minutes until we would leave for the store. GREAT was your excitement at finally being able to spend your money.
On the way to the store, I reminded you of your sponsor "brother", Adi, in Romania with whom you share a birthday and year. I asked you what kind of a party you thought he would be having and whether you thought it might be a nice idea to use some of your money to buy him a present since he probably wouldn't be getting many gifts. I approached the subject tentatively and with all sorts of defense arguements already formulated, but to my
Great idea?? Just like that? No wailing? No gnashing of teeth?
After deliberating for a painfully long time in the Lego aisle of Toys R Us, you finally decided on a Power Miners set for $25.99. When I gently reminded you about a gift for Adi, you first picked up a small ATV Lego set for $5.99, looked it over, then set it down and handed me a larger pirates set for $12.99. I mentioned that the one in your hand was twice as much money as the first one you'd looked at, but you insisted. You wanted to buy him the larger set because it could also be turned into a fire station, boat dock, etc, and would make a better toy. It didn't matter that it cost more.
And didn't your ol' mum's heart sing! I was so proud of you!
We've been talking over the last few days about having another party (I know, I'm crazy) for your friends from school. When I asked who you would like to invite, you proceeded to name off EVERY CHILD IN YOUR CLASS, and when I thought the list was done, you added the names of another three or four boys that you play with on the playground.
I told you that I thought it would be a good rule to invite as many kids as there are candles on your cake. In your case, that would mean only six friends. The panic in your voice made for a sound that likely only dogs and dolphins can hear. You insisted that you just couldn't decide and in fact might actually die if forced to choose.
So I gave you the following choice: a small party with six friends, a SIMPLE cake, gifts, a few games, etc, OR a big party with ALL your friends but the invitation would state NO GIFTS. Again, I was expecting a minor explosion, but you immediately chose the second options that wouldn't leave any of your friends out. When I explained that a birthday is a time to celebrate and have fun with the people you care about, your response was, "Yeah, and friends are more important than presents."
This from the boy who has the Lego Club
Last night as we were cuddling in bed, I was going on somewhat dramatically about how old you were getting and how soon you're not going to want to be my baby anymore. You put you arms around me and STARTED CRYING, saying that you didn't want to grow up and for me to be a grandma and MOOOOVE AWAAAAAY.
Seems you took our resent reading of Love You Forever to heart and were a bit freaked out by the bit where the aging mother drives across town and
(Then you asked how old I'll be this year. When I said I'll be 30, you said, "Wow, you're almost 40!". Um. Not quite.)
I love you, Liam.
(P.S. Yes, you do own more than one sweater, I just happen to love how this one brings out your eyes so I put it on you whenever it's clean, which has been almost constantly with two grandmas around to do laundry before it has a chance to hit the floor. Plus it's been almost cold enough later to wear a winter coat - IN JUNE.)