Everyone always says that parenthood changes you. But until you are at that moment when your firstborn makes his/her appearance, nothing can truly prepare you for what is in store. I remember thinking "Am I ready?" "Do I know how to raise a child?" "How in the world does this work with changing the diaper and holding the penis (so he doesn't pee on me) and making sure his belly button is ok too??" "What if I do something wrong?" and so many other questions that I've asked myself over the last 10 years.
But we must be doing something right because Aidan, you are this absolutely amazing kid. Every day I am in awe of you. Sure, not every moment of every day is sunshine and roses, but overall, you are my sunshine. And this past year has been your year to shine. You glow with confidence. This is something I never thought I would see a few years ago and now, you are in your element.
Everyone I speak to tells me how much they adore you. They love your sarcastic sense of humor. Your kindness with others. They go out of their way to tell me the kind things you do for other kids at school. Why you can't do this with your brother is beyond me, but I glow with pride nonetheless. You are a great friend too! And your group of friends are such great kids!
You are a hard worker. You get frustrated sometimes but you aren't one to give up. You are persistent. You face adversity and you don't let it get you down - you just keep plugging away. It's a trait that is going to serve you well in the future. Don't ever give up!
On Friday I brought cupcakes to school for his class. Aidan does not like to be in the spotlight - he's a very humble kid. He didn't even want me to bring cupcakes to school but I insisted, it's one of the great joys of being a parent in my mind. You can see how embarrassed he is though in this video - poor kid!!
Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting a la Duncan Hines
Aidan and his friend Johnny
Totally mortified that everyone is singing to him
Aidan and his teacher Ms. MaryAnn
Everything was wrapped and ready to go when Aidan went to bed...
Ready for the big birthday morning
Last sleep as a 9 year old...
With the thousands of pictures that I take of these kids each year with all our travels, etc, you'll notice in the pictures below that Aidan totally has the "pose" down ;)
Aidan's birthday party was actually on his birthday. Pretty lucky since it's only every 7 years that your birthday falls on a Saturday!! He invited his closest friends and this year I was smarter about planning and made sure it wasn't during siesta and just about everyone was able to come, either for the whole party or at least for a little bit. Every single one of those friends made Aidan's day, I could tell.
Apparently they had been planning at school a huge water gun fight. I had heard this through another mom and told her, no, there was no plan for a water gun fight. It was scooters, cupcakes and some snacks in the park, that's it. But then when another mom mentioned it to me after their soccer game on Friday evening, I realized that these kids have been planning this for some time and that maybe, just maybe, I need to let Aidan take charge. And so I said, yes, that sounds like a great plan! And we rushed off to El Corte Ingles to buy water guns since we had none!! Then I emailed all the parents to tell them to have their kids bring water guns and that we had some as well if they didn't.
The kids had an AWESOME time at the party. They were soaked to the bone but it was perfect squirt gun kind of weather. They chased each other thru the park. They played soccer...and coincidentally, the team they played on Friday night happened to be at another party in the same park - and they all did a little impromptu friendly match. It was awesome to see!
At the park waiting for his friends to arrive
Aidan and David...Aidan and Max
Max, Aidan and Guille
Cupcakes ready to go (the cake pops were a FAIL)!
Aidan and Luis
We did cupcakes and sang Happy Birthday to the birthday boy. Again, I can't believe we are launching into a second decade with this kid!!
The crew!! Such an awesome bunch of kids!!
I'm sure his wish was to stay in Barcelona forever...
Water gun fight!
Penalty of war... soaking wet!!
Isa and Aidan... Isa was Aidan's first friend here - so happy to see her at the party!
Even the big "kids" played ;)
Nicolau and Aidan - so glad he made it! There was a mix up and he almost didn't get to come!!
Impromptu soccer match against some other kids at the park
Aidan had one of his best friends sleep over on Saturday night and they chatted well into the night. At one point they were both in the two lounge chairs on my balcony just talking away. About what, who knows, but they were having a great time just hanging out and it warmed my heart to see it. We're going to miss all these guys!
I think overall Aidan had a great day!!! I can't wait to see what this next decade brings for him - I see wonderful things for this amazing kid!!