Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Birthday Truck

The evolution of the birthday truck did not take long.  Being the observant boy that he is, Boy O noticed that the UPS truck always seemed to deliver packages around someones birthday.  Then one day as we were driving around town, he jumped up and down,  pointing and exclaiming "There's a birthday truck, Mommy!  A birthday truck!" 
This has now become a fun activity-that is, to spot the birthday truck and try to guess whose birthday it could possibly be and what kind of presents they are receiving.  The best is when we spot an extra long delivery truck-that person, of course, must be receiving some large presents.  The birthday truck has been making frequent stops here this past week and Boy O could not be more excited-we placed all the gifts up above the fireplace and the anticipation must have been agonizing. 

I hope that I can keep this tradition alive in the coming years-a letter to my eldest son on his fifth birthday:

Dear Boy O,

There are many nights that I lie awake and think about the events that have taken place in your life for the past year.  At a very young age you have endured hardships and loss that most people cannot imagine-you are made of tough stuff.  What continues to amaze me, is that although these events have shaped your life thus far, you remain open to love and being loved by your new family.  That fact is truly powerful as your namesake would suggest.

A snapshot of your life right now-you are INCREDIBLY active!  You love to ride your bicycle and no one would ever guess that you had training wheels just a few short months ago.  Most people think you are very daring with your multitude of tricks, but I know from watching you day in and day out that a lot of hard work and some spectacular crashes have contributed to your expertise at wheelies and jumping off the curb.  I admire the determination and grit I see in your face whenever you get back on your bike.

You love to play soccer.  It is difficult for any of the other kids to handle the ball when you are on the field.  You are faster, you kick with both feet and you know how turn the ball around with some fancy footwork. You are so good that sideways glances and questions about your age are not uncommon from other parents.  When you are playing, I like to refer to you as 'my little type A'.  Your soccer skills are unmatched at this age, but your social graces are a bit lacking at practice-we are working hard on encouraging your manners when standing in line and waiting for your turn at the water fountain.

Just shy of five months home and you are learning to read.  I find it hard to believe that we were communicating with charades back in May.  You can read almost 30 words now!  I try to keep our reading lessons to 10 minutes a day, but you have boundless enthusiasm to learn more.  You enjoy picking out books for bedtime stories and look forward to the library story hour twice a week.  After your nap (or should I say quiet time?), your bed is strewn with books.  As an avid reader myself, I could not be more proud.

In true boy fashion you love all things superhero where the lines between good and evil are very distinct.  You are fascinated by the good but have started to explore why a 'bad' guy might be bad. Sometimes you ask me why they are bad and if they used to be good.  I am no expert on the motivations of Marvel villains, but after reading you many books on the subject (thank goodness for the library), a new wrinkle in my brain has formed and is specifically for answering questions concerning the origins, aliases, adversaries, and allies of just about any superhero.  I try my best, but many times find myself passing the buck and saying "Go ask Daddy, maybe he knows."

You are a wonderful big brother but are too young to realize how much Baby O already looks up to you.  You have helped him learn to walk and now run and kick a ball.  His eyes light up whenever you enter the room.  I hope you will have a close relationship with one another as the years go by.

At five years old, you are an individual and yet also a social butterfly. You are incredibly kind and considerate-you are smart as a whip-and especially observant. I have every confidence that these attributes will ensure your success in whatever you choose to pursue in life.

Your father and I hope one day that you will grasp how much we love you and how proud we are to call you our son. 

Happy Birthday and hoping for many, many more,
Mommy O

P.S.  The first statement out of your mouth after opening all of your gifts was "Is it a long time 'til Christmas?".


  1. OMG Susan, did my precious boy have his birthday today???? That was Amira's Birthday.. Happy Birthday. I will read the post later but I wanted to with boy O all the best:) Back tomorrow

  2. Okay, I'm sorry... but how cute is he and how beautiful are you? Something about this kid makes me tear up. I didn't used to be this way... blaming it on parenthood, but this kid just slays me. The presents waiting for him! A scooter! The homemade cake! You behind him on the couch with the Ethiopian pillow. Ahhhhhh. Tears. Sweet, sweet. How lucky are you?!

  3. I agree Morgan...the first thing I thought was - dang! Susan is beautiful!! Haile, adorable as always...and how funny he's already asking for Christmas. They certainly learn early, huh? I loved your letter to him. very sweet. :)

  4. You need to post more pics of YOU! We knew that A and H were cuties, but u r one hot mama!!!!!!! Love, love, love the "birthday truck" idea -- may employ it in my household. I have never seen H smile so brightly. Smiling right along with your guys.... Keep the posts coming! HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOY O!

  5. What a wonderful birthday celebration. What a wonderful family, brings back such sweet memories of days gone by. I am just blown away at what great parents you are and how much fun you get out of enjoying these happy times. Can hardly wait for Christmas. Love to all. PaPa and MeMe

    Love the letter

  6. OK, I'm coming out of hiding. I am a stealthy, faithful reader of your blog who seldom/never comments, but I can't let this entry pass without throwing my two cents in, as well. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the idea of the Birthday Truck, the birthday cake hat and especially the heartfelt letter from you. Pass the kleenex, please! It does my heart good to see that great big smile on Boy O's face. I send much love to your family and my very best wishes for many more wonderful years ahead. Jackie (Morgan Hanna's mom)

  7. Oh Susan, when reading these stories on their birthdays I wished I could go back in time and be your alls child. I know its a blessing to have these kiddos we all have adopted but goodness, you and Ken are just such incredible parents. You were born to parent. I loved hearing all of his stories. Amazing how all little boys love spiderman. Mine do too. And wow the reading? Keep up this incredible work you are doing on your boys.