Yesterday was Roan’s birthday. This boy turned nine right in front of my eyes, the same way he turned eight and seven and three and one. He did it in such a way that made me swoon with love, and clamor, just a little bit, for him to not do this all so quickly. I look at Roan and I can see a ghost in limbo. The spirit of a full-grown man, and the innocence of a brand new squishy-faced baby. He exists right in the middle of these two spaces, and as children do if we let them, he teaches me about who I am and what I value.
Claiming that he didn’t want a party this year, Roan was sent off to see The Hobbit on Saturday with his cousin and Auntie while Anson and I scrambled to bake a cake, get snacks and decorate. His besties were invited over for a sneak-attack surprise party and seriously? This is my new favorite way to throw a soiree. Secret in its nature, you really just can’t do anything much to prepare, it’s all done in the crunch. That is so up my alley.
When Roan arrived on the scene and had the unveiling of the party upon him, his first reaction was sort of terror. Like he just couldn’t arrive at the thing that made sense what with everyone yelling at him, and balloons and streamers all around. When it finally made sense, his comment was, “Well, I wasn’t expecting that at all.” And I was crying, because I was laughing that hard at my boy who was killing me with his cuteness.
Yesterday was the actual day, and we decided to keep Ro out of school, pack some snacks and get to 34th Street, where Santaland lives at Macy’s. Smitty + Shep officially had their minds blown. The robotic animals, the trains that circle endless Christmas trees, the lights and the elves ushering us here and there were completely next level for them. Roan reveled in showing them how we visit Santa, how we trust him enough to sit on his lap (which actually none of them would.) Later on in the day Roan and I snuck of to get pedicures, and when we got home, there was more cake.
And then there was a cake fight.
And then there was just your basic rub-cake-in-your-own-hair shenanigans.
My Roan continues to make me be that mom. The one that when you compliment him I can’t really say “thank you” because all I can do is agree. His magic has nothing to do with his parents. He has developed into his own guy, one that I am wildly fond of spending time with. I watch him with his brothers, how he is patient with them and wants to teach them. I watch how he measures the climate of his friend’s lives, and tries to keep balance with them. I watch Roan with his eccentric taste and highly developed sense of style and just wonder how I got to be this lucky, to be the one who gets to guide him for a few more years.
Happy Birthday Roan. You make me so happy, every single day.