They Grow Up So Fast…

Today is my little boy’s birthday. Or I should say, my boy’s birthday. He turns 7 today, and I am I struck at how he is a little boy and full-fledged BOY (yes, in capital letters) all at the same time.

He is sweet and sensitive, while also rough and tough at the same time. He loves snuggling with me on the couch with a favorite book, but he also enjoys wrestling with his sister, climbing trees, and exploring the woods.

He is smart and funny. He frequently points out that the words “Breaking Bread”on this missal at church could also spell the name of Daddy’s favorite show if a few letters were covered (anyone else a Walter White watcher?).

He is moving to more complex books, while still preferring adventure stories without the supernatural scares (such as Goosebumps). He got three new Geronimo Stilton books for his birthday today. Hopefully he won’t get up ridiculously early in the morning to read, which he does sometimes when he is excited about a new book.

When I looked at his school picture, with his big boy stance of hands in his pockets and confident grin on his face, I was brought to tears. When did he get so tall? When did he start becoming so independent?

Little boy or big boy, I love him all the same. Happy Birthday to my favorite boy, who I love with all my heart.

Through the Eyes of Children

I spent this week on the dream vacation of most American children. My family and I travelled to Florida, went to the beach, spent 2 days at Disneyworld, and stayed at a fun hotel with waterslides and a pool. Between the hotel and Disneyworld, a parent could have felt overwhelmed with all the characters, from princesses to Mickey Mouse to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It could really feel over-commercialized.

While my children loved meeting their favorite characters, what we really enjoyed was being surrounded by stories. There were stories everywhere, behind each of the rides and experiences. We immersed ourselves in Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood. We flew on a Rebel Spy mission past the Death Star and back to base. My son was chosen to play the Beast in a special story with Belle. We even made some of our own memories and stories to share for years to come.

This trip has reminded me of the stories behind the places we experience everyday- both fantastical and ordinary. And it reminded me why I (and many of you) write for children: for the chance to give a child joy and laughter, and to help them dream.