Mini-Hooper (or the offspring formerly known as Ninja) turns 10 today. A decade. Ten whole years. 3,650 days on this earth. Amazing.
His arrival in our lives made He Who Is Now Taller Than I a big brother. And, I was officially outnumbered, 3 to 1. Unless you count the cat. Which I don't. She was never really much help in the "rally the girls" arena. But, I digress.
While he rolls his eyes at stories of how my favorite Philosopher and I met--or how we got engaged ("Mom, are you going to tell that story again??"), he still likes to hear about his world premiere (scheduled C-section), who came to see him after Daddy held him (his godparents, my Community Bible Study sisters--Jenny Wilkes, God bless you for that decaf Caramel Machiato), and his first words ("Hey, everybody! Watch me!"). True to his given name, he brings light. And life wherever he goes. And so very much of it.
Much like his Philosopher father, he asks questions and posits theories that often amaze--and confound--us. I can only imagine what his Sunday School teachers think! Mr. "Mom, I have an idea", he is never without multiple suggestions about how to do a particular thing. And, he will lobby for it, energetically and persistently. He is stubborn and holds fast to an idea, even as it is obviously drowning in an ocean of impossibility. Yes, in that way, he is his mother's son. Guilty as charged.
His boundless creativity astounds me. Seriously. This kid can take a generic LEGO set and build the set, completely and thoroughly. Within twenty-four hours, he is tweaking, altering, expanding, or disassembling to make a better product. His eye for detail, in the LEGO world, and his ingenuity to make it happen, wows me. I'm good for separating pesky little bricks that the tool can't conquer--and I seem to have a God-given ability to attach limbs to mini-figs. Who knew? Cool mom points, in his book.
And, he writes. Currently, he has no less than eight short stories going. Some fan fiction (Harry Potter and Warriors), some featuring animals making around-the-world journeys, led by a squirrel who looks likes a marmot version of C.S. Lewis. Picture a tweed smoking jacket. Expressive eyes. And a pipe.
If you follow the Mini-Hooper trail around the house, you can capture bits of his personality and preferences. You will find basketball shoes at the garage door (with socks stuffed inside). A few steps into the hallway will be his "Idea Notebook" with his Avengers mechanical pencil set atop. On the living-room sofa, where he parked after rising groggily from his lower bunk, one finds a Calvin and Hobbes book. Or Peanuts. Or both. From that vantage point, on the coffee table, you might see a LEGO replica of our living room, in progress. Or our Math-U-See manipulatives, in lovely mosaic form, as giant coasters.
Mom's musings must cease. Time to get busy on the birthday menu. Very specific. It includes Cranberry-Feta Pinwheels, a yummy grilled Southern Living pizza featuring grilled corn, onions, and smoked sausage (prepared by Dad), and my BBQ Chicken Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing (lovingly known as the multi-adjectival salad, in our house).
But, the day shall start with a blueberry cake donut and chocolate-glazed confection from our favorite local donut place. But, don't tell him.
It's a surprise!