Tonight I am writing this journal entry from an undisclosed location... in our backyard. Brian and I are on an EPIC adventure!
This afternoon, I surprised him with a tent I bought before we moved and told him that the two of us would be camping out tonight. He was beyond excited.
He hung out in the yard "helping" me as I set up the tent. I should tell you - not to brag - okay, I'm bragging - that I have never set up a tent before. I've never even slept in a tent before!! I'm not a "roughing it" kind of gal, believe me. I was sooo proud of myself for getting this tent up! This picture shows it "almost" done for those with eagle eyes.
Soon it was completed - with a hinged front door and everything. Nighttime couldn't come fast enough (for Brian, that is. Ha!)
He is finally asleep and as soon as I finish this journal, I will attempt to sleep as well. I am a little concerned about my arthritic body and how I'll feel tomorrow - but guess what? It's already worth it. Tonight has been so, extra special - and just what both of us needed.
I bought two books ahead of today for this special occasion. One about first grade and the other a sequel to a book we love that is filled with stories that have wisdom to take away. We read for a good 40 minutes.
Brian was far from tired after that so we laid on his sleeping bag and looked at the stars... had conversations about school starting... about his fears... about jealousy when his sister gets a lot of attention...
...we took silly pictures and talked about his top tooth being loose and reminisced about our old house...
...and we laughed. A lot. I know Brian felt very special tonight. Finally he said he was tired and that he was going to close his eyes.
"I'm not going to talk to you - and you don't talk to me - okay, Mommy?" he told me.
"No problem, Brian. Good night! I love you!" I replied.
And then I heard...
"Mommy? Can you turn your light on for a second?" he asked.
I shined the light so we could see each other and he softy said...
I had a lot of fun doing this with you. Thank you for our adventure. I love you...
Okay, now go to sleep."
To be honest... I can't believe we're still out here. I thought for sure he'd want to go inside the minute it got dark!
Brian has another epic adventure coming up August 31st... the first day of First Grade!! This past week we attended an open house in his new classroom. I was very grateful to Granny for coming to stay with Hope so Brian and I could spend the time together. (Ed had to work and was so disappointed he couldn't make it) Brian's new teacher, Mrs. Korom, created a challenge for all the students that day. She gave step by step instructions - which they had to follow in order. The first step was for Brian to find his desk. He smiled from ear to ear and couldn't contain his joy when he saw that his very best friend, Daniel, would be sitting directly across from him!!!! And his good friend, Grace, was right next to him!! Seriously - he has talked about this every day since.
The instructions were quite detailed - "Empty your crayons and pencils and scissors into your plastic cigar box and place it in the left side of your desk..."
"Bring your cardboard cigar box to your teacher and tell her your name so she can write it on your box..."
"Sit in the reading circle and look around - count to 25 - write your name on the easel..."
"Bring your three copybooks to your teacher - find the stickers with your name on them and place them on the books. Then put them in the right piles."
"Sit at your desk and draw a picture of yourself. Write your name on the paper and take it to your teacher who will then give you a small treat..."
It was such a fun morning and really got Brian excited for First Grade. I commend Mrs. Korom for her unique open house! Brian was able to interact with her several times, she shook his hand and welcomed him, he toured the classroom in a relaxed way, he got to pick a prize from her treasure chest which thrilled him and he had fun!
Everyone thinks their children are special - and I am no exception. Brian is honestly one of my favorite people on this Earth. Not just because he's my son... I actually really like the person that he is. Sure, he can be wild at times and need to be told to calm down... or get too bossy or act jealous when all eyes aren't on him... but he's 6. He's still figuring out this whole shebang called life.
But he is truly one of the sweetest little boys. And he's quite deep. One day last week he called my name while we were out in the yard and I turned to see him holding this leaf, shaped like a heart.
"Here, Mommy - I want to give you my heart!" he said.
We spend a lot of time outside. When Hope takes her morning nap, the two of us love that time together. We go on the tree swing or take a walk on our little walking trail (thank God for the long range video monitor!)... he helps me water my flowers and we talk about "stuff..."
...we spy frogs and butterflies and tiny little caterpillars. And we often see Praying Mantis, which is very cool!
But when Hope is awake, he lights up. Ed and I really never imagined that they would be as close as they are. With such a big age difference, we thought they wouldn't play together all that much. Boy, were we wrong. They LOVE to play together - and Hope tries HARD to do everything Brian does. He can sometimes forget she's a baby and we have to remind him that no, she can't wrestle - but to be honest, we often forget she's a baby too. She's a tough little girl!!
This week I spontaneously decided to take the kids to a local Church carnival. The first thing Brian said as we walked in was that he wanted to pick rides that he and Hope could go on together. "We should go on all those rides first so she won't feel left out if I go on bigger rides without her later," he told me. She was thrilled to sit right next to him and the two of them laughed and laughed.
Then later, when Brian went on the roller coaster alone...Hope sat patiently in her stroller waving frantically and yelling "HI BIAN! HI BIAN" as he rolled by us.
I'll often come up on the two of them doing something sweet. Brian will take Hope to a window in the house that has the perfect view of our water fountain, which he knows she loves.
Or he'll ask her for a kiss and hug before bed with his arms stretched wide...
...and she always obliges him.
One of our biggest concerns when Gavin was dying - before we knew that I was pregnant with Hope - was that Brian would be desperately lonely. How would we ever fill that void even just a tiny bit?!? Then, when we found out Hope would be coming into the world, we worried that the age difference would be too great for a bond as great as he had with Gavin. Boy, were we wrong again. Brian kept his huge space in his heart for his brother - and opened his heart wide for his new sister.
Brian chose a Superhero theme for his new room, which he still calls the "Brian-Gavin" room. He still sleeps in his brother's bed and wants Gavin's name near his on the wall.
He loves his room, which overlooks the trickling water fountain that Gavin would have loved. There's a nice desk for him to do homework or write notes (which I often find by my things - "I love Mom" notes will never get old and I've saved every one!)
He loves to "chill," as he puts it, in his bed.
Truth be told, every day is an "epic adventure" with this child. I am so proud to be his Mom. And when he wakes up out here under the sunrise - I will tell him just that.