While I still have a lot of posts from our trip to Portugal, this one has to take priority. I’m always astonished at how fast my kids are growing. But the reality often hits me when they have birthdays. However, not for the reason you think. Sure they are another year older, but it’s also representative of another year that they’ve been away from the US. And I’m blown away by the fact that Liam was just over 2 1/2 when we left the US for Barcelona almost 6 1/2 years ago and now, here he is, living in yet another country and is now 9!!
Not only do I feel old that my youngest is now 9, but the fact that so much of his life has been spent abroad reminds me that this is his “normal”. “This” kid (he always like to point out that “this” kid likes something, etc) amazes me day in and day out. His life is full of challenges but you wouldn’t know it by talking with him – he’s the happiest kid around (unless he’s unhappy – he’s a pretty black and white kind of kid) with a huge smile and always with something witty and sarcastic to say that will make you laugh out loud!
He works hard and plays hard. He loves his ipad – to excess some days – and watching videos of kids making videos (what is with this generation?). He loves reading with me. Even if we only have a minute in the car before he has to go into school, he asks me to read to him. It’s one my favorite things we do together. I hope that never ends (though it might seem weird when he’s 25 and I’m still reading books aloud to him – but I’m standing my ground!).
Liam actually managed to celebrate his birthday 5 times this year – it’s like the never ending birthday! I think that might be a record. We all joke about celebrating for an entire week or weekend, but his somehow has spanned several weeks, starting with his birthday party in the middle of April – almost 3 weeks before his actual birthday. With the school break the last week of April / first week of May, we couldn’t celebrate on his actual birthday with his friends, so he ended up doing a combo party with one of his closest friends. The party was a combo laser tag / pizza party and in a word (Liam’s word) it was EPIC!!
Then he had cupcakes at school for his second celebration. He got to open one gift before we left since it was something he could use on our trip – a new waterproof camera! Then, of course, he had his actual birthday while we were away. We couldn’t bring a lot of his presents as the boxes were too big (why Lego makes those boxes so huge for so little inside is beyond me) so he opened a few small things in the hotel we were staying in while in Aveiro.
He loved the card that we found when we were in the US – it was right up his alley. For those with boys, you’ll be sure to appreciate this 😉 Beyond that, he got a some small Minecraft guys, a few small lego sets and some Pokemon cards. He was thrilled!
His dinner that night was at a Brazilian Churrascaria, where they bring the meat out to you on skewers. He LOVED it! But what he loved the most was when the manager gave Josh and I shots at the end of the evening (a digestive), he also gave the kids “shots” (shirley temples). Liam walked the entire way back to the hotel telling us he’d gotten hammered on his 9th birthday. He was a riot…a very very loud riot! Where he got the idea of getting hammered is beyond me – I’m sure somewhere on tv.
His final celebration was when we returned from Portugal. He must have asked 500 times in the car if he could open his presents when we got home but as it was already bedtime, he had to wait until the next day (I feel for the kid – I remember that excitement at that age and then being told to wait – it must be so frustrating!!).
Finally he got to open his presents on Thursday morning, days after his actual birthday. He was excited and thrilled with his loot, not to mention, his 5 celebrations! As he said, by now he should be 14 and not 9 after celebrating 5 birthdays! Regardless, he loved opening the rest of his gifts and spent all morning with me building legos!
I’m excited for what 9 is going to bring for Liam. He seems like he’s matured already and it’s only been a few days. What is the next year going to be like? All I know is that my baby is growing up!
We love you Liam!
Knuffels en kussen,