Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Aye yi yi, August is brutal to me. While school starting should make things easier, it seems to just bring more chaos. On top of that, fully half of my family has birthdays around now, plus two grandmas, a brother-in-law and a niece. Can you say Christmas babies?

Can you ask me how I know that?

Twice over?

Fa la la la la?

Christmas Baby Number One turned six last week. My baby, my wittle boy, is six. How did that happen?

Tuesday, the day of his birthday, I made his requested chocolate pancakes for breakfast, and then GG offered to take us to whatever "eat house" Shep desired for dinner. We asked. He answered, "The Diarrhea Eat House."


"You know, the Diarrhea Eat House. The place where we all got sick last time."

"Um, and why would you want to go somewhere we we all got sick?"

"Because they have great salsa." (True dat.) "And it's my birthday. And you said I could go anywhere I chose. And I want to go there."

Okey dokey, birthday boy. Have some Pepto with your cupcake.

But when Daddy got home, he immediately began a re-education campaign: "Hey, Sheppy. You know who has the BEST SALSA in TOWN? Way, way, WAY better than the Diarrhea Eat House? Pappasitos, that's who. Ohhhhh, yeaaaahhh. Pappasito's salsa ROCKS. All the six year olds know that!"

It worked. My mom denounced Walker's brainwashing techniques, but he was too busy rejoicing to notice.

I am ever so grateful for the gift of thought reform. Because Pappasito's really does have the best everything in town. And Shep got to wear the big sombrero and have them sing to him and play with tortilla dough (better than playdough.)

The next day, I took Shepherd to Toys R Us, where he got to pick out any toy he wanted with a "2" in the first digit. Beeline to the Nerf section.

For the record, way back when I was never gonna let my daughters play with Barbies, I was never gonna let my sons play with guns.

My son is ever so grateful for the gift of thought reform.

I decided that no one is getting a big hoo-ha party this year (yes, hoo-ha is a word. I think.) Well, nobody except Ike, but that was last April, and the others have forgotten about that already. My moratoriums are only as long as a kids' memory. Anyway I told the kids they could do anything they wanted for their birthday, but they could only invite one friend.

So on Saturday, Shep and his BFF Jake got to go to Noah's Ark, which is pretty much the coolest pool in Houston.

Shep's friend Thomas also "just so happened" to show up, so he was happy, as was Walker, as Thomas's daddy Lance "just so happens" to be one of Walker's BFFs. The big kids and the big daddies swam in the big pool, while the little kids swam in the fun part.

My niece Wendy was in town from Washington, which was a treat. Eventually we rounded them all up for what turned out to be a halfway decent photo of all the cousins, sans little Mary Ellen, who is only 1, and littler Lincoln, who is still busy gestating.

Six kids ages six and under: that's as good as it gets.

After that we played on the school playground attached to the pool, where another birthday wish came true: Shep got to drink a whole Coke.

Meanwhile, I got very sentimental.

I used to teach at this school. You could say Walker and I fell in love here, because our BSF class met in a classroom for leaders' meetings. The sanctuary is where I had my Ton O'Bricks experience.

I took my class out to recess many many times on this same playground.

The last time I was there, Shepherd was busy gestating, and here I was, sitting on the same bench where I used to yell at my class, yelling at my own kids, at that baby's sixth birthday party.

Wow, things have changed a lot since 2003.

Happy Birthday, sweet Shepherd. You are such an awesome kid.

I am so glad you're mine.


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