Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Destination ...

In a previous post, I shared how the little man (with mommy's help) packed a shoebox full of goodies as part of Operation Christmas Child to be shipped to a child in a developing country so that that child could also have some Christmas cheer.

As part of our project, I also received a tracking bar so that the little man could know where exactly in this great big world that his box was shipped to.

And the destination was ...


Twenty-nine percent of Mexico’s 112.4 million people are 14-years-old or younger. In 2009, 640,424 shoe box gifts were delivered to children in Mexico, which first received the gifts in 1995. Since then, 5,422,743 children have received a shoe box gift.

Our family has been fortunate enough to have traveled to Mexico on many occasions, and the little man - just this summer - has also joined us on our travels there. When I told him where his shoebox had gone, he smiled, having remembered his own visit to Mexico.

And hopefully, somewhere just south of us, there is another little man enjoying his brand new crayons, green harmonica (just like the little man's), toys and Wall-E toothbrush.

And of course, Smarties.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Little Man Turns 5!!!

Much to mommy's dismay, the little man turned 5 just before Christmas. An early Christmas present just five short years ago, our Decembers have forever been marked not by the joyous holiday season, but by also the little man's birthday.

I don't know if it is a curse or a blessing to have been born just a few days before Christmas. I am so paranoid that the little man will feel as if his birthday is never really celebrated due to it's proximity to Christmas (thus a curse), that I have made it a personal mission of mine to ensure the little man's birthday is celebrated to the full extent (thus a blessing).

Ask any friend or family member and you will know that I have explicit rules when it comes to the little man's birthday:

1. His birthday is to be celebrated on his birthday - no "you should celebrate his birthday on his half-birthday so you can space it out between Christmas."
2. His birthday presents are not to be wrapped in Christmas paper.
3. His birthday presents are just that - no birthday/Christmas combined gifts. I don't care if his birthday is the same week as Christmas.

So, as such, I of course began obsessing over his birthday in true mommy form. Planning, plotting and thinking of ways to make this birthday special. Before any thoughts of Christmas, or even Thanksgiving, my mommy mind was turning.

When it came down to it, the little man asked me if he could have his birthday party at the same place we had it last year. I had already come up with a list of no less than 100 other possibilities, all of which were quickly shot down by the little man.

And so mommy learned lesson No. 1 of letting go of the little boy and embracing my new older and and independent big boy - letting him make his own choices.

For me, 5-years-old is a monumental milestone in my son's life. He has definitely grown by leaps and bounds over the last year. He will begin Kindergarten this fall. He even chooses his own clothes at the stores now.

And so I took a deep breath and let go.

{Well, a little bit, anyways.}

And we promptly booked a party at the same place. We handed out invitations to all of his friends. We let the little man choose his birthday cake.

And we welcomed the little man into big boyhood with one great party.