I've had a post in the works for a week now about my Pirate Boy's 5th birthday. It was a tremendously fun and exciting day for everyone. Donuts for breakfast, balloons to play with all over the house (green, his favorite color), decorating the cake. Now the cake gave me a little difficulty: How do you make a pirate ship out of a boxed cake mix? I had this idea to bake a circle and a square layer, then use half the circle as the hull of the boat and the square as the sail. The folly of this course became clear when I actually got out the cake pans and compared them. No, that sail would clearly topple any kind of mast I gave it, and probably sink the boat in the process. What to do, what to do...
I had sent The Man out to the store to buy LEGO pirates to man the ship and was pondering my problem (OK, I was probably reading Agatha Christie), when Aha! an idea struck me: Use the pizza pan! We have this lovely ceramic deep-dish pizza pan of just the right size to make the hull of a ship that could carry an 8-inch square sail. Then hubby came home with a treasure-trove of pirate goodies, including a Blackbeard figurine (complete with working cannon) and a bundle of gold(ish) dubloons. I was on the case. At the last minute, Pirate Boy decided he didn't want a pirate cake after all, but I told him he'd get one and like it-- and he did. (I'll post pictures later; we have to do ours the old-fashioned way: with film.) He spent the rest of the morning "dividing the plunder" with his crew (us). Totally cute and sweet. Arrrrghh.
We had him open presents at lunchtime; he got some cool stuff, but his favorite was... OK, after the money, his favorite was the LEGO Darth Vader TIE fighter. We were hoping he'd fall in love with the shiny new bike we got him instead, but there's really no competition with that blinking red lightsaber. Punkin Baby can do the voice, too. Kinda scary.
Things kind of calmed down when Punkin Boy went down for his nap. The bigger boys (dad included) scampered off to the basement, where a playroom is taking shape. While #1 Son sulked and acted bored, Pirate Boy decided to help his daddy put together the futon frame. The big, heavy oak futon frame. Which he proceeded to lift, then drop onto his poor sweet little foot. His daddy carried him upstairs so that Pirate Mama could kiss the injured tootsie. I held some ice to it, checked for breakage, and cooed to him soothingly, and within minutes, he was running off playing again. No serious damage done, apparently, though I don't know why.
In another hour or so, he was up again and off bike riding while we filled the pool. Again, I took pictures and will post eventually. The water was a bit cold for the boys, but they enjoyed splashing each other and waving the hose around while giggling hysterically. Don't ask me. In the middle of a stormy week, we had sunshine and warm weather-- right up till dinnertime. Perfect. On the menu: meatless lasagna for my veggie boy.
During the afternoon, the bike sat in our living room. A shiny gold-and-blue confection, its sleek lines reminded me of the fierce yet sporty 3-wheeler (what are they now that they aren't Big Wheels?) we gave him for his third birthday, and a pang hit me straight in the heart. My sweet, wonderful, and in all ways awesome friend Sheri had given her boy an identical 3-wheeler for his birthday that year, too. One of our very last conversations before she died was about that trike. Our boys were exactly as far apart in age as she and I were; without even knowing it, we did many of the same things during the years we'd been apart.
I found myself weeping over that beautiful new bike in my living room-- weeping for the mama who will miss her boy's fifth birthday, who even missed her daughter's first one. For all the things my wonderful friend will miss, I cried. For everything I miss about her, I cried hardest. Today is her birthday. I miss you, Sheri. I love you.