Like every stage in the last 9 years, there have been things I have loved about this last year. Independence for sure. Though with independence comes a lot of push back on his end. But I love that he wants to do things on his own - from coming downstairs in the morning to make his own chocolate milk and turning on the tv to trying to make his own breakfast (which often consists of just one piece of toast, nothing on it... but it's a start) or cut his own fruit (the idea of his using a knife chills me to the bone but I know he has to do it sooner or later).
He is coming into his own, asking inquisitive questions - always thought provoking. His desire for knowledge is never ending. He is a YouTube guru - anything he can't figure out, he YouTubes. This includes his need to understand everything about video games and how to solve them, what are the shortcuts and what are the new and upcoming games that are coming out. It's understandable to see why he wants to be a video game analyst when he grows up. This year's interest with games included anything SuperMario 3D and Skylanders.
I asked Aidan what kinds of things I should put in this entry about his past year. He's starting to get the idea of why it's good to keep a diary of our adventures so that we can look back years from now. He told me that he's kind (so true) and also a bit manipulative (also true... but I love to see how his mind works). He thinks he's angry a lot and while it makes me sad to agree, I also think this is part of the age not to mention, three years later, he is still dealing with the transition to a new country. But on a positive note, just a few months ago, Aidan finally told me that he really likes it here. He's hoping to stay in Barcelona for 5 years, go back to the US for 5 years and then come back here for another 5 (though he doesn't get that by then he'll be college age and all that is up to him!).
He wanted me to note that while he and Liam are the best of friends and the worst of enemies, that it is nice that they can now play more together. He is slightly bossy (as expected of an older brother) when it comes to just "how" to play pretty much anything. And god help Liam if he doesn't do it quite right. But when they do get along, like they did on Aidan's birthday, all is so perfect in my world that I could not ask for one more thing. Too bad they don't do that more often. Let's hope 9 and 6 are the years where they get along great :)
Hobbies this year included legos - Ninjago being his favorite but he also loves to freestyle build. He loves to see how things fit together and how to create new and exciting models. He also loves to draw and paint. And for me, most importantly, he is starting to love to read. For a child with dyslexia, this is probably the utmost important thing that puts a smile like no other on my face. He has said several times in the last few months how when he reads certain books, he just can't put them down. Favorites include Big Nate and Geronimo Stilton.
One of the things that Aidan mentioned to me that took me a bit by surprise was his love of watching pictures float across the tv (via Apple tv - it's like a digital photo frame on your tv). For all his complaining about me taking picture after picture, he loves to look back at pictures both from here, home and all of our vacations and reminisce about fun times. Sometimes I think this makes him miss home a little bit more but with happy memories he'll also have something to look forward to each summer until we move back home.
As he gets bigger, he's able to do more big kid things. Like this spring he was able to swim with dolphins with Josh - Liam was too little still They snorkel together and the hope is that in a few years he can start diving as well (still a little too young). He's going to skateboard camp this summer - this is when he can start doing cooler things because he's old enough. And that makes it just a little more exciting because he can appreciate it more.
But getting bigger means outgrowing things too. It took a lot of convincing on my end to ensure I could bring cupcakes to school for him. He felt he was too old for it. A little sad for me as it means my baby is growing up, but I "won" this year and next year, well, we'll see how he feels next year...
In class right before we sing "Happy birthday"
Aidan got to open a present or two the night before his birthday - he kind of snuck it in as Josh and I were talking to a friend who was visiting.
Opening a few gifts Thursday night!! Liam got a new Ninjago set for his one gift that he opened. Aidan got a new Skylander...
And a new Pokemon DS game!
What's waiting for Friday morning...
Trying to pick one or two Friday morning before he goes to school
But the big gifts came on Friday night after school. His favorite, Skylanders for the wii. He already had it for the 3DS but apparently it is much cooler on the wii as it has more levels. He also got some new Skylanders. Other gifts included Iron Man toys, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, books (Geronimo Stilton and Captain Underpants), a new snorkel set including flippers which he's been wanting, and a new Pokemon game for his DS. All made him smile :)
Pretty sure this is Legendary Stealth Elf which was a big winner :)
Liam helping to open gifts
Liam's thinking "What's this???"
OMG it's the Skylanders Wii!!!!
Best friends (til Aidan got too bossy and Liam dropped out)...
Overall, everything is epic these days. That's how Aidan describes pretty much anything that is cool. Including his birthday this year - it was epic :)
Julie and Aidan