Monday, June 27, 2011

Look at This Lad

Hank, Instagram

There are many like him, but this one is mine.

Because I have grown wise in my years, I mostly believe that you all love your children as much as I love mine. It's part of the growing belief in the minds of others that doesn't really kick off until you're about 27 and will probably fully ripen later on into middle age, when (I think) the last vestiges of youthful narcissism have been metabolized. So, okay, you love your kids as much as I do. I'll stipulate that. But wow, I love this one a whole heap.

Hank turned five last week, which is impossible because in my heart he is still three. Thank goodness his dial is still turned to max snuggle.

He is also prone to make koan-like pronouncements about the world. In the car last week, he mused, "Sometimes when you want to marry someone, it takes a long time for them to stop slapping you and say yes."

I didn't really know where to begin in responding to that. Because I didn't come to that realization until I'd reread F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender Is The Night.

So what I'm saying is that you want this boy on your team, especially when it comes to slapping and/or matters of the heart.

Tomorrow we are having a birthday party for him and his buddies at one of those bounce house places. We invited all our neighborhood friends and last year's schoolmates as well. The grocery store is making us a cake with a dragon on it. And I am off to Party City to get stuff for goody bags. Ideas? We have 16 kids coming and I don't have that many bars of soap.


Suburban Princess said...

Awww what a great photo!!
Happy birthday to him!

Jackie said...

Beautiful post. I have a 7 year old boy and your words really spoke to me.

: )

Megan said...

Happy Birthday to Hank! Five is so cool. Wise words from the young master, too. Were you that profound at five? Noah (almost five) wants me to share that Hank also should marry a friend. Noah is engaged. (?!)

As for goodie bags... as they say, I got nuthin'.

Hootie said...

Box of Cascade and snack size zip-locs. Boom, you're done.

Not good enough? Use a sharpie to write "Star Wars" on each baggie. Now it's themed. Tell 'em it's robot soap.

Becky said...

Robot soap for everyone!

Y'all, I just went back and reread the comments on that bar of soap post. Priceless. War time goody bag!

KathyS said...

Hank is a-DOR-able! As for gift bags, how about Hershey's kisses and glow necklaces (or bracelets). Your theme? Rave. It's never too early to introduce kids to life on the fringes.

And when I read your bar-of-soap entry, I felt like such a fantastic mom ... but my only child is a Goldendoodle puppy! Also, that comment about you doing a video blog is a goodie (from a smaht man)!!

Jenni said...

Happy fifth, Hank! Did you know that bounce house birthday parties are the most dangerous birthday parties? We went to one last year and had to sign a release.

I say keep it simple on the goody bags. I always hate when Oscar comes home with a ton of tiny crap.

Elizabeth said...

I'm not too big on the goody bags myself. Yes, I did them last year, but only because I had an easy theme to work with (princesses and pirates), and could easily find a lot of cheap, cute themed stuff (eye patches, gold coins, compasses, magic wands, gaudy plastic rings, princess hats). But I also had these cute little foam craft kits ($1 each at Michael's), that they were supposed to work on at the party (okay, that didn't actually happen), and they got to take them home after the party. This year, I think I'll focus on coming up with a cooler craft, maaybe even one that incorporates a cookie or something in with it, and that'll be their take-home thing, we just won't do the goody bags.

Becky said...

I could believe that bounce house parties are dangerous. At Hank's Halloween carnival at school, a little boy got a bloody nose in one. I'm hoping we avoid bloodshed.

For goody bags, I went with sand buckets n' shovels with bubbles and rather a crapload of candy. I think it will fit the bill okay.

I love having a craft at a kids' party, and when we have parties at home we do that. I figured on this occasion though, their craft would be jumping around and my craft would be sipping coffee.

So nice to not be scouring my own house for this and anticipating post-party cleanup!

Amy said...

Aw, Hank. You're the best. Happy birthday! He couldn't be cuter.

Good idea on the buckets/shovels--those will get used. Most of our goody bags end up getting pitched.

Elizabeth said...

How about Q-tips?

(and happy birthday to your little darling five-year-old --)

Becky said...

Hooray for q-tips! And here's a goody bag I would love to receive: dried apricots, magic erasers, and postage stamps. Real stuff that grownups need.

Veronica said...

Aw, happy birthday, Hank! I can't believe he is five; in my mind, he is still a newborn! ;-)

Beth said...

My husband is kind of a Grinch when it comes to gift giving. One year, he actually asked for postage stamps and a fire extinguisher. And his brother in law got him both. Bonus!

Happy birthday, Hank. I'm still thinking of his sweet little voice as he and Rowan chatted away the evening over brownies. He does have a sweet voice, that one.

Star said...

Happy Birthday to Hank! (Ha, ha, I remember the bar of soap story!)
Not having kids, I can only try to compare the wonder you express to that which I feel for my (adult ESL) students. Not only has it turned out to be fascinating to get to know them, their individual personalities, likes and dislikes, but their depth of feeling, their twists of humor, and their warmth have surprised me, and enriched me. Thanks for your sharing.

delaine said...

We love our little buddy! He is such a sweetheart. Once here at the mountain house, Papa and I were discussing where to dig a hole for a post to go. Hank observed the entire exchange where I wanted it moved but didn't want Papa to redig the hole because of the trouble. Papa said he was going to move the post. Hank thought this was a bone of contention. He walked over, stood right by my side, looked up at Papa and said,"I'm on your side, Grandma."
We laughed aloud. He always surprises and charms with his pronouncements. And touches the heart.

Juliet Grossman said...

Party City is great for goodie bags. The last party we had, I picked up little diner waitress pads for 10c each and they were the surprise hit of the party. Also popular: stick-on fake mustaches. Have fun!

Casey said...

Oh man, is he cute! Happy Birthday, Hankster. I always think of him as way older than Graham but they're only 6 months apart.

The last party we had at a bounce place, I had 25 kids and was over the gift bags too. I ended up buying one of the $3 boxes of sidewalk chalk per kid and printed a "thanks for coming to my party" tag to wrap them in. They were a hit since parents hate the cheap crap in gift bags.

Have fun at the party!

BR said...

how did you re-read tender is the night? i could barely get through it the first time!
anyway, to the point - happy birthday hank! what a bonnie lass.
i threw a party for a five year old once and did a "fear factor" theme - remember that show? we had tables of gross stuff. one had a bowl full of pasta (mushed brains) and you had to fish out prizes with your hands. we had a version of bobbing for apples, but eyeballs. then we gave all the kids harry potter jellybeans and little did they know that the "green apple" was not fruity. i think it was called "booger". the red and orange one was not peach, it was "vomit". the black and white one tasted like pepper. sounds like fun, right? wouldn't you want to find one of these in your goodybag? hehe
i don't blame you if you don't borrow any of these ideas. you can file them away for later though...or not ;)
hope the party is a smash!

Michele said...

I wish I would have read this post while in New Orleans. I could have stolen at least 16 bars of soap for you from the hotel.

Happy Birthday to Hank!

Michele R said...

My first thought after seeing the photo is how much he looks like you in it!
I am sure he had a fantastic time at his party. Just the other day it seems my youngest went to a bouncy house party at his same age. I had been painting a room and since he is my 3rd kid (and both of us used to parties), I thought I would be able to drop him off and leave. No. Not the expectation of the parents. I had to stay.

Loved Delaine's story above in the comments.

kathy said...

Where does the time go? I remember visiting with you shortly after Hank's birth, and blink he's five. I know he enjoyed the bouncy party with his friends. Please give him a Happy Birthday squeeze from us.

Bren said...

Just today Ike declared, "Man, 5 is WAY better!"

Keely said...

Yes, just look at him! Adorbs. Happy birthday to him.

M said...

Cute as a bug's ear, he is! Love the Batman t-shirt. My 20-year-old got a vintage one for his birthday this summer. When they tower over you, you like to be reminded they are still kids. ;)

With two early summer birthdays, we always opted for sidewalk chalk and pool accoutrements with a few pieces of non-melting candy tossed in as party favors. This year, teenage girls got ecstatic over Justin Beiber balloons and dum-dum lollipops. Sigh.

Messy Mom said...

I forgot about the bar of soap post. Love it! I can't believe he is getting so big :( and at the same time I feel like my son is starting to catch up with him, which isn't possible, but you know how the older they get the smaller the gap feels.

A Day That is Dessert said...

Beautifully said, Becky. Happy birthday to Hank!