This birthday will not be how my boy hoped it would be back when he started planning his eighth party shortly after his seventh birthday. He wanted a birthday party with a few friends and hoped to have his first slumber party. He has been dealing with each Corona-related piece of news fairly well. He hasn't shown a huge range of emotion when talking about his feelings directly related to the loss of his social life, but it comes out in other ways. This time has required us to ask a lot of our children. It is hard for us, and they look to us to be the strong ones. Just a glimpse of me unraveling in front of my kids and their eyes look like they might pop out of their heads. We are all human though, and I am not one to keep my feelings to myself. I am all over the map these days, so some days we cruise that map together, other times we hit our own destinations.
My daughter is pretty independent with her schooling now. She knows what is expected of her assignments and keeps her own Zoom schedule. My husband is working from home and I am a newly appointed second grade teacher. My son is not at an age where he can independently go through his daily assignments. He has gotten better at keeping an eye on what his next activity is on his schedule but he needs quite a bit of hand holding. This has been extremely trying for both of us, but has also bonded the two of us tighter, even if on some days we could both use some space. My little (not for long) boy drove me to tears of frustration in a way I have never experienced before. He has also filled my heart in a way I didn't know was possible. There are some nights I just can't get enough hugs and kisses in. He likes to snuggle before bed and some nights I snuggle him tightly to the point of him asking me to please go. I will never cease to let him know how much I love him.
Here we are at eight years old already and I am so proud! I am not sure how these years are flying by so quickly but they are. I don't have any babies left so please pardon me, If I baby my last one for a long time to come. I told him he could have any food he wanted so we could make his birthday special, given the circumstances and he chose pizza for breakfast, In-And-Out for lunch, and sushi for dinner. He knows he will get to unwrap some presents and have dessert after dinner, but he doesn't know that we have the car decorated and ready to drive him to his friends to see them wish him a "happy birthday." Even if it is from a distance, I think it will be just what he needs right now.
When I think about him turning eight, there is so much unknown for what this year ahead holds for him, and for all of us. I know that between his sister, his father and myself he has the love department covered. He has a bunch of close friends, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents ready and waiting to high five and hug him when the time is right. Hopefully, sooner than later, and with any luck by the time you turn nine buddy, I will make good on that sleepover party.
Eight is great, and so are you sweet boy!