He is still the cuddly little ball of energy that he was a few days ago...
Nothing has changed visibly.
Not that I expected it to. But, he did.
And, that tells me how aware he is of this 'growing up' thing, and incidentally, of birthdays.
My mind races to list all that he has learnt in the last year, and, so far in his tender years; it wants to share all the little things he does that seem thoughtful beyond his years; it tempers these rushes with the stark fact that kids around the world undergo this developmental phase- I did once...
But, that doesn't diminish any of his leaps forward which I quietly tuck away for recalling and reveling in later.
For now, just the strong involvement and drive he had for marking this special day when the earth has gone around the sun four times since his birth is all I want to savor here.
He zeroed in on the venue and manner of celebration with his friends - outside of school - very firmly requested it; repeatedly.
He picked exactly one thing he wanted as present, leaving no wiggle room for us. He graciously said he can wait for Santa to bring that present for him if he doesn't get it for his birthday.
As soon as he spied me hanging up the Paste Batik Birthday Flag a few days before the special day he knew the festivities have begun in right earnest.
He busied himself making some of the hand-crafted items that was to go into the goody bags; helped make the goody bags; drew/wrote a special message for his friends in a slip of paper (even if the said friends have no way of decoding this message); he remained positive and happy throughout the special day, and the days leading up to it.
He picked out trail mix, licorice sticks,and fruit leather - three of his favorite treats - to give his friends; made bookmarks to share with them; picked out brand new rubber stamps and color inks at the store to add to the goody bag.
Along with Ana, he helped make seed paper, much like we usually do the hand-made paper at home.
The watercolor plastic bag art paper he helped make a while back came in handy for making cute little 3"x3"blank cards for his friends, to go in the goody bag. He chose 4 basic shapes - circle, triangle, square and leaf; watched me closely as I cut them out; helped me paste them onto the card front; gave up following on the envelope-making, satisfied that the end-product was as we had discussed.
Excited beyond the acceptable scale, he managed to stay calm and composed all through his birthday celebration with friends, playing, chatting, eating and merry-making.
Was suitably thrilled and impressed with the Penguin Cake Pops that Ana (and I) wanted to surprise him with. And ecstatic at the Penguin cake (pictured at the top of this post) I made especially for him, considering how enamored he was of these tenacious flightless birds.
Was pooped out enough after a long day, ready for bed on his birthday night without a fuss.
But not before giving me a kiss declaring, "You are my love, mama", which naturally managed to melt my heart and ooze out my eyes...
Many Happy Returns of the Day, my cuddly-sweet love!