It seems like any time parents can’t do something for their children, they go overboard to compensate for it. And we are no exception to that rule. Once Matt and I learned that he would be missing Brendan’s birthday because of his business trip we started talking about all of the things we could do to make it up to him.
We started by allowing him to open his birthday gifts early. That way daddy would still be at home when he opened them. He opened his first gift on the 1st. It was only about a week or so before his birthday, so not as long as it seemed. We had gotten him a model for his Warhammer collection and let him open it that early so he and daddy could build it before daddy left. They spent the next few days putting it together and Brendan even got it painted before Matt left.
We let him open his second gift the weekend that Matt left. He’s always been big into reading and one of his friends got him hooked onto a series called A to Z Mysteries. They aren’t as complex as some of the other books that he and I read together, but they are simple enough that he’s comfortable reading them on his own. He checks them out from the library whenever he can and has lamented from time to time that we haven’t been able to read them in order (like mother like son!) We found the full series online and got them for him. The smile on his face told me that even though it wasn’t a toy he was very happy with his gift. He ran right into his bedroom and put them onto his bookshelf, up high where Cameron couldn’t get to them.
We also told Brendan that he could do pretty much whatever he wanted for a birthday party. He originally wanted to take all of his friends over to the local skating rink and play laser tag for his party, but then he decided that he would rather see the Lego movie that comes out in February. So while his birthday party is being pushed back almost a month after his birthday, he’s excited to get to go to the movies with his friends.
But that didn’t take care of his birthday itself. We’d done the gifts in advance and the party way late. So what, we would just ignore the actual event itself? Not in this house we wouldn’t. For starters because I make our birthday’s a big deal (hey, if I want to have attention showered on me on my birthday the least I can do is shower that same attention on everyone else), and second because again Brendan is just like his mother and makes sure that there isn’t a single person in the universe who doesn’t know it’s his birthday.
So we started making plans for his birthday week, and as we got going things kept growing and growing until every single moment of the week seemed jam packed with activities. Starting with Wednesday. There was a hockey game Wednesday night. I don’t usually take the kids to hockey mid week and when I learned Matt was going to be gone I almost decided to skip the game, but at the last minute decided to go ahead and take the kids.
Cameron’s been staying up that late anyway and Brendan has been begging for the opportunity to prove he’s ready for a later bedtime. And Kaylee, well she could sleep all day Thursday if she wanted. Brendan hasn’t been as into hockey this year as he was in years past, but I figured he’d like this game because I had arranged with the team to announce his birthday on the big screen during the intermission, and I was right he loved the attention.
We also made plans to have dinner with both sets of his grandparents. My mom has a hockey player who’s birthday is the day before Brendan’s and so she planned a joint birthday celebration for them on the Sunday following Brendan’s birthday. As for Matt’s family Brendan has been contemplating where he wants to invite them to go out for dinner with him. He’s going to make the call himself and invite them. He’s very excited about that too.
Finally, Brendan has been begging to have one of his friends over to spend the night. With the holiday’s and everything we haven’t been able to make it happen recently. And normally with Matt gone I wouldn’t subject myself to the stress of having 2 extra children in the house overnight, but seeing as it’s Brendan’s birthday I just don’t know how to say no. So assuming he manages to make it through the day without any meltdowns we’re going to have his friend spend the night this weekend.
All in all it’s going to be one crazy week, but life with Brendan is always like that. Crazy busy, crazy fun, and crazy exciting. I’m so happy to have been blessed with my big ten year old boy, even when he drives me just a little bit crazy.