Our run of early summer days continued here today. Fantastic blue skies and moderate temperatures. We took the birthday boy (Liam) and birthday grandma (Gayle) out for breakfast. We went for a wonderful bike gang ride from Bird to Gird, 9 kids and six adults. We were actually a formidable crew. We played at the park in Girdwood in mid summer style, without the normal Girdwood rain. We drove the boys new remote control cars. We sat on our sunny deck. We had dinner with the Maury clan. The boys are now attempting a night in the tent in the backyard.
I am a little embarrassed that my now 7 year old son is attempting a night in the tent for the first time in Alaska. By his age I had spent many nights in tents. I guess the difference is that in Alaska with my healthy anxiety of bears I have been reluctant to put him or myself in a tent very frequently. In Colorado it was pretty mellow when I was growing up. Although they have bears now (little black bears are a different story than a Grizzly), when I was growing up there was maybe one story of someone who had seen a bear. I remember a birthday party when I was maybe 7 or 8 where my parents bravely took 7 little boys camping. We actually backpacked into a little site. I think the hike was only like a mile and it is probably the site of some multimillion dollar home now but it was a real adventure to a young kid. I can’t fathom taking 7 young kids into the woods here to camp overnight although I am sure it would be more traumatic for the bears but I would be a nervous wreck. I am glad Liam and Finn are trying it out. My guess is that they won’t make it but I have to admit having them come in and snuggle up to us at some point in the night is really special as a parent too.
So as I am writing we have hit the moment of the day where Liam actually turns 7. I can still remember the operating room where Dr. Gohring had to yank him out. He wasn’t excited about coming the natural way. I always wish for Brooke’s sense of accomplishment with pregnancy that he would have cooperated. I think about how wonderful it was to hear that little scream of anger. He was clearly trying to voice his anger with our draining his pool and bringing him into the light. I remember that amazing mix of relief that he was out, that Brooke was okay, and the sudden questioning of our decision to have kids. I find it such a wonderful dichotomy in life to watch the joy of parents mixed with the fear that a little newborn can suddenly thrust upon a person. The realization of such a rapid change in life despite the fact we are given 9 months to grasp the gravity of the act of bringing forth a life is comical when I look back. I wouldn’t change our choice to have Liam for a second though. He was well planned out and despite his rough entrance into the world he has been a real joy throughout. Sure there are moments when it is a good thing Brooke is calmer than myself but overall I am very proud to think of Liam as a reflection of our thoughts and priorities.
I know with each year he is much closer to being devising his own prerogatives. My guess is he already is. I regret not having a good chunk of last year with him but I am thrilled I have had the time recently to make up for it. I love watching him grow up although I really like him as a little boy. I can wait to see him become a young man, I really enjoy the stage he is at. At the same time I know it won’t be long before he is grown up if he keeps it this fun. Now I just have to make sure I stick around to see it happen.
Head Up, Heart Strong. I need a cure.