...where you reserve a copy of the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, released, coincidentally, on your birthday.
...and you're done with silly cakes in the shapes of cars and Star Wars characters...just stick some candy on it and you're happy.
...and you want a rollerskating party, but (thankfully, for your mother's sanity), no girls yet.
...and you smile politely when your mom still insists on making you a cake in the shape of something.
It was a great birthday, made even greater by the presence of Aunt Rachel, Uncle Bob and Laura, who were in town for Thanksgiving. Laura saved the day by running to the store for the ice cream I had left on the counter at home, and Aunt Rachel and Uncle Bob did lap after lap with Eleanor so that I could focus on the birthday boy and his friends. I don't know what we would have done without them.
I love my boys getting older. Their early elementary school years were kind of hard, and I missed the sweet preschool days (not the toddler days- NEVER). But I slowly figured out that I go deeper into my mom groove the older my kids get. I love to hear about the social goings-on at school and in the neighborhood, and I love watching their concerts and sports games, arranging their playdates and being able to watch a movie with them and not want to poke my eye out.
Every year on Eric's birthday, Eric Sr. brings me flowers and I think about the day I became a mother, now 11 years ago. This poor boy has been with me from the beginning, bearing the brunt of my fumblings and failures, patiently letting me figure it all out. Despite my ineptitudes, he has grown into a really cool kid. We like him a lot.