I just sent you out the door on your way to your first REAL day of pre-school. We did a kind of neighborhood co-op thing last year, but I’m pretty sure you just thought it was play-dates with snacks. It wasn’t nearly official or structured enough. But this one? This one is in a classroom, with actual teachers, and we have to pay for it. Obviously, that makes all the difference.
My only real worry is that because one of your teachers is a good friend, and because her son (who is in your class) is your best friend, that you’ll forget the discussion we’ve had at least fifteen times in the last week. The one where I remind you that when you’re in the classroom, you’re there for school, not to play with Trent. Trent — who calls you “Alex the Xander” and who you innocently informed me was the best friend in the whole world and who you are going to marry when you’re a grown-up. You were devastated when I told you that typically, boys marry girls, but you regained your composure when I assured you that you and Trent can be best friends for as long as you want to be. You replied, “Oh. I guess that’s okay. I’ll just marry June then.”
Alex, I just have to say this. You drive me absolutely bonkers. You rarely listen. You whine ALL THE TIME when you don’t get your way, and sometimes, you whine even when you do get your way. I can be three inches away from your face, ask you to stop some behavior, and you’ll walk away and do exactly what I just asked you to stop. When I ask you why you did that, you’ll answer, “I didn’t hear you.” Really? You didn’t hear that thing from five seconds ago that I said directly into your ear and to which you responded in the affirmative? Other times, you’ll tell me “I forgot.” I once countered this with a stern, “Then you need to stop forgetting things and remember the rules.” You trumped me though. You informed me that, “Mom, you can’t help forgets. Sometimes forgets just come to you.” How can I argue with that? But seriously, Alex, you have got to LISTEN! And not only listen, but actually respond appropriately. Because you have no idea how close we are getting to listing you on e-bay.
However, when you are not actively aiding the arrival of my mental break-down, you are adorable. You are so easy-going. Nothing phases you for more than about 30 seconds. You offer hugs, kisses, and “I love you’s” more than anyone I’ve ever known. You laugh at least a million times a day. And your explanations and descriptions of things are hilarious — even (especially) when you don’t mean for them to be. You can talk for eleven minutes straight about one of the worlds on Super Mario Galaxy, explaining every obstacle, every hidden star-bit, and every detail about the planet. I just smile and nod, as if I have even the slightest clue. You know every word to Stick-shifts and Safety Belts by Cake. You watch Cartoon Network and Nick with Cooper, because you say the stuff June watches is for babies, but when you think I don’t notice, you still get totally into Diego and OomiZoomi. I even caught you dancing to Yo Gabba Gabba. I won’t tell.
So not only are you stuck in the middle of little kid/big kid world, but you’re stuck in the big fat middle of our family as well. You seem to handle it pretty well most of the time. I’ve had a blast watching you realize in the last few months that you can have almost as much fun playing with June as you can with Cooper. But every so often, you get left out. Not because you’re not wanted, but because what Cooper’s doing is something you’re not quite ready for. And my heart breaks right along with yours, Alex. I struggle every day to not just give you everything you want. Telling you “no” is something I do frequently, but it’s not something I enjoy. I know you don’t believe that now, but you will.
From the time you were born, I have thought it odd how completely different you and Cooper look. I remember thinking that if you and Cooper were placed in a room with eight other boys and a stranger was asked to pick out the two brothers, they would certainly get it wrong. Yes, you both have blue eyes and light brown hair, but the similarities end there. Then June came along, and I hoped that she would look at least a little bit like me… just so that I could pretend I had something to do with at least one of my kids. I joke that I’m just the oven — I have very little to do with the recipe. But she came out looking like Aunt Jen. Go figure. But here’s where it gets cool, Alex. When you were brand new, a few people commented that you looked like my dad. I didn’t see it much then, but as you grow, I see it more and more. You’re skinny like he was, and your and his eyes are an identical shade of blue, that get the EXACT SAME GLINT in them when you’re about to cause trouble. You live and love with reckless abandon. You have absolutely no concept of “can’t”, and I thank God every day that you’re here. Partly because you attempt on a regular basis to leave this mortal coil (No, Alex, just because Diego can ride a para-glider across a ravine, doesn’t mean you can jump off the second story porch with a beach towel!), but mostly because, as Aunt Sonja has said, when you’re around, Alex, Grandpa Don is never far away. I need to remember that more when you’re being a turd.
So have fun today, Bud. Be good. Wash your hands. Listen to your teachers — they just might be building the educational foundation that will turn you into a brilliant surgeon. Which is good, ’cause your dad and I will probably need you to support us when we get old.
I love you, my infuriating Twinkle Star.