Saturday, March 27, 2010

Perfect 10

Today was Declan's 10th birthday. And I can't believe it. I mean I can, but I can't. Which makes no sense whatsoever, I realize.

On Friday night, Declan was supposed to have a sleepover party with three friends. Unfortunately, in shades of last year, he was sick and we'll have to reschedule the party for next weekend.

Last year, Declan's birthday fell on a Friday. The last few days leading up to the party looked something like this:

Wednesday, March 25--drive to Denver for Finn's appointments on Thursday; go to museum; hang out in park; go to Chuck E. Cheese.

Thursday, March 26--wake up at hotel, massive snowstorm starting; drive to appointments; realize we are in a blizzard; search for and find a hotel that takes one hour to get to even though it is only five miles from where we are; remain trapped in hotel overnight.

Friday, March 27--Declan's birthday! Wake up at hotel to 18 inches of snow and frigid temperatures. Mommy eventually digs out the car and we make it home at lunchtime. . .right as Declan gets the stomach flu. He vomits for the rest of the day. He rallies around dinnertime to open presents, but that's pretty much it. Fortunately, his party is scheduled for a later date.

Here was this year's itinerary:

Tuesday, March 23--A giant snowstorm races through our valley and wallops Denver. We are scheduled to drive to Denver on Wednesday for Finn's appointments and to to an Avalanche game. Declan goes snowboarding with Tara and Garvin, but doesn't feel well. In a very sympathetic mood, we make him go to soccer practice. In the snow. When he comes home, we realize he has a fever.

Wednesday, March 24--We head out despite the inclement weather. Allegedly, all of the roads are open. And they are--most of the way. At one point we sit for 45 minutes as the result of an accident, but we finally make it to Denver an hour late. When we get there, three hours later, they can still see us because all of the Denver people cancelled their appointments. The only people who drove through the weather to keep their appointments? Us, a family from Avon (in our valley) and a family from Wyoming.

We picnic in the car and go to the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum. Very cool. Declan spends most of the time lying on a bench.

We go to the hotel, which is very nice, thank you American Cancer Society, and rest before going to the Avs game. We all enjoy the game, but Declan is clearly not himself.

Thursday, March 25--We drive home. That night, Declan has such a coughing attack, he vomits. We make the decision to cancel the Friday night sleepover party. Declan wonders if he is allergic to Denver.

Good sport that he is, he plays along with the friend Finn has for a sleepover instead (I had invited a friend for Finn to keep him occupied during the party, but the parents didn't get my message saying the party was off. . .). Now, with a little rest, we're hoping Declan is on the mend at last.

He's a good kid. And now he's 10.

Some pictures of our Denver adventure. . .

In the cockpit

With Bob, our tour guide in the cockpit

Big wheels


Marveling at our hotel

Finn meets Bernie the Avalanche dog during a bathroom break

The LA Kings warming up

We were up close and personal to the action--right behind the glass. We are very lucky to have friends who have such great seats and who generously hand the seats out when they can't use them!


Celebrating an Avalanche goal!

This old-fashioned safe was on the same floor as our room. The safe was manufactured in Hamilton, Ohio, which is near where I went to grad school at Miami University in Oxford.

Birthday morning--Feeling better and opening presents.

Cutting his own cake

A little look back. . .

You are brand new:

First day home from the hospital. I wondered if the baby acne would ever go away.

It did.

You are 1:

You like cake.

You are So Big.

You like presents. You don't like to wear socks.

You are 2:

You love Thomas the Tank Engine.

You think Easter egg hunts are the greatest thing ever.

You play endlessly with the eggs. When you go to Grandma's house, you ask her to get out the "fragile eggs" from Italy. Being a Grandma, she says OK, and lets you play with the fragile eggs, even though you are 2.

You twist your hair when you drink your bottle at night. I still see you do this when you're mindlessly watching TV (and when you have hair).

You are 3:

You love Larry Boy. You are so adorably cute it breaks my heart.

However, you cannot endure our Happy Birthday singing.

Larry Boy seems panicked.

You are 4:

You get your first "big boy" bike.

You love to play Candyland. And you cheat while doing so.

You love Buzz Lightyear and all things Toy Story.

To infinity. . .and beyond!

You are 5:

You love Spider-Man.

Your birthday falls on Easter. You are still beyond cute. And yet you are also a stinker. You are somewhat challenging at this age.

You are 6:

We celebrate with Grandpa in Florida. You seemed so grown up. Looking back, not.

Your love of hockey and all things Blue Jackets is already years old.

Finn wears those socks now. And he has long outgrown that stick.

You are 7:

Your first birthday in Colorado. It was a hard adjustment. . .

. . .but you made lots of good friends.

You are 8:

You love Harry Potter.

You love to snowboard.

You shave your head in honor of your brother for the first time.

You are 9:

We go to Park City to visit your cousins for spring break and celebrate your birthday early with them. You still love snowboarding. You still love hockey.

You are sick on your actual birthday. You do manage to open your presents. Imagine that.

You have a group of friends we call The Posse. I try to envision you all in high school.

You are the Perfect 10:

Old enough to raise money for a good cause.

Emotionally tough enough to endure shootouts.

Young enough to be delighted by animals and puppies.

Old enough for some independence, but still young enough to be excited about birthdays and presents. And still young enough to ask for 10 kisses from your parents to celebrate being 10.


sportzmom said...

Happy 10th Birthday Declan! Wow,a hockey game and a nice hotel...sweet!

Leeann said...

This made me weep my eyes out. I love the look back at Declan's life. It was so fun to see how he has grown and changed over the years but even more than that, your love and admiration for him just shone through. He seems like an exceptional boy and that didn't happen by accident.

So, happy 10th birthday to Declan (and MANY MANY MORE!) and also Kudos to Mom and Dad for doing such a great job raising such a fine young man!

1dreamr said...

Awwww...what a great retrospective. This screams 8x8 mini scrapbook. Just as it is - *those* photos and *those* captions. That would be so awesome!

Happy Birthday, Declan! Those "teen years" are right around the corner!

Kristie said...

Happy Birthday, Declan!! I love birthday respective posts (respective? is that a word?) and loved seeing the photos. Just like 1dreamr, I was going to suggest that you've got a mini-scrapbook already done right here. Just print the photos and writing and its ready to go .... wonderful keepsake!

Lucinda said...

Keep this handy to remind yourself of how things "used to be" when he's 16, knows everything, and won't admit you're his parents...

Beautifully written (as always).

Happiest of 10th birthdays, Declan, and many more to come!

Hugs, cinda

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful, touching post!! Happy belated birthday to Declan!

Mary Z

Lisa said...

Oh my goodness, Natalie. It seems like just yesterday we had the boys at the McDonalds indoor play yard on Sawmill road! Time has passed quickly!

What a wonderful tribute to Declan! You are such a good mom. Happy Birthday, Declan!