Time has just flown by.
He was born, and now he's going to be seven.
Sprawled on the floor, surrounded by markers and dog-eared colored paper, he was charting a plan for what he expected to be The Best Birthday Party Ever.
It was going to be …
“Mom! How do you spell epic?”
It was also going to be a sleepover; he was going to invite no one we knew; and the stupid, inflatable water slide we stored in a garbage can in the garage would not make a single appearance at this soiree as it had at the other six.
So … it was also likely to be a disappointment.
“What did you say?”
“Nothing, dear. Just continue your planning. Pay no attention to me.”
He made it clear: He was not a baby anymore.
And he didn't want my help, except to bake the cake and remind everyone when it was time for presents. And possibly to keep the dog out of the pillow fort, which I could help build if I were not too busy making pajamas for all of his friends.
As I peered over his shoulder at the crowded page, I could see he was serious.
In three, neat columns he'd carefully (mis)spelled (in his best handwriting) out every detail of this party to end all parties:
“My party is going to be a sleepover. We are going to play video games and watch movies and eat popcorn that has real fake butter. ... You know, the kind you get in movie theaters that always looks yellow? That kind of popcorn.”
He had a guest list, an itinerary and a three-meal-menu that included all the basic food groups birthday parties typically deliver: pizza, popsicles, brownies, cake, cupcakes and popcorn. There would also be fruit leather, chips, pretzels and cheese curls. And what kid wouldn't want Lunchables for breakfast?
They would play Minecraft and watch movies and sleep on the couches (head to head, so no one got stuck smelling feet).
Every second was accounted for. Even my role as Chief Cook and Bottle Washer had been punched into a clock.
“Oh … and in the morning, could you make those little panda bears out of oranges that you made for Ittybit's friends on her birthday?”
It's good to feel needed, I consoled myself, especially now that I have been demoted from party planner to citrus fruit sculptor.
It's also good, I muse, that party planning has also given him the impetus to practice his soon-to-be-forgotten first-grade writing skills.
“How do you spell 'Fireworks'?”
“Um … let's see: 'N-O'.”
“But … ”
“What does that mean?”
“It means your mother would go to jail.”
“But … Amah has fireworks every year for Dad's birthday. She doesn't go to jail.”
“Amah lives in a state where fireworks are L-E-G-A-L.”
He shrugs his shoulders and starts to erase his misspelled sparklers and bottle rockets.
“Wait! I know how to fix this,” he says with a grin.
He scribbles with delight at his own brilliance.
“Moov to ware firewoks are leegle.”
No problem. We have three, whole weeks. That's plenty of time.