Today is Ethan's actual 8th birthday. In sharp contrast with the weekend activities, today was a normal day. We took Ryan to gymnastics in the morning and then went to Ethan's kung fu class. I made cupcakes last night which he shared wit hall his friends at kung fu. We gave him the choice of going to his friends' house, going to a play place, or going to a park with some other friends. Of course he chose going to his friends' house since his Pokémon-playing pals were going there.
He played Pokémon Stadium Battle and then they played together with the Wii. Even the delights of the electronic world couldn't keep him indoors though. He spent most of the day outside with Ean, Indy, Ben, Josh, Sam, and Ryan. I just realized that he managed yet another all-boy play day. After playing for hours, I had to tear him away so he could go to his gymnastics class. Now he's sound asleep, happily holding one of his new Pokémon figures.
Eight years ago tonight was a very bittersweet night for me. I had a beautiful new son, but I had lost his twin sister. She had a seizure in utero and was stillborn. Tonight I am, once again, happy and sad but for a completely different reason. My beautiful son is 8 years old and, somewhat selfishly, I don't want him to grow up. I know this almost cliché, but as much as I relish his growing independence, I miss the things he's outgrown. I look forward to the person he's becoming, but I know there will come a day when his birthday night will be a time he wants to share with friends, in a world I can never share. I want to keep him safe and protect him, but I also want to help him grow. I have conflicting desires, but I know which one will triumph. His birthday is just a reminder that my job is much harder than I ever imagined.