This week we celebrated two birthdays - my niece and my son. They were born 6 days apart and both turned 20 this month. It is so surreal when I think of how I have become the parent of adults.
Allow me a few minutes to reminisce about life with my son - he was born the second of four children, and the only boy. His favorite things when he was small were the classics - Legos, Lincoln Logs, cars, and puzzles. For the first 4 years of his life he communicated with his own language. In fact, some members of the family thought perhaps he had "problems" and we should get him tested. But Mr. C is, and has always been a bit of a perfectionist. I think he just decided he wasn't going to talk until he knew exactly what he was doing. When he started to speak, he spoke in complete sentences. One of Collins favorite activities was to have puzzle races. He would take those cardboard puzzles that fit in the "trays" that are for children and he would challenge his dad and I to a race. We would dump the puzzles out on the floor, upside down - mix up the pieces, and see who could put it back together the fastest. He always won. He could tell you exactly where the pieces went just by looking at the - backwards - you know, on the cardboard side that is plain. That concept still fascinates me. He has always looked at things differently than me.
A few more things about him - he is my reader, he is very artistic (more so than he admits), he's very musical and taught himself how to play the bass guitar, he gets bored very easily, he is the "social director" among his friends, it's hard to keep up with his wit and humor, he doesn't like people to wake him up - he prefers to get himself up, he is loyal to his friends and family, his best friend is his older sister, family means everything to him, he prefers to work for himself rather than someone else (wonder where he got that from?), he loves adventure and he loves to be spontaneous, he could probably live on peanut butter - but really hates it if someone contaminates the peanut butter jar by using a knife that has butter on it, his favorite meal is lasagna, he has an enormous music collection, he craves "alone" time . . .he's my son! Happy birthday Collin.These were the birthday cakes - chocolate with 7 minute frosting for Chelsea (her favorite) and homemade german chocolate for Collin (his favorite).
While at our family dinner on Sunday, it was so wonderful to watch the cousins all intermingle. Growing up, we didn't have alot of extended family events. On one side of the family, everyone was spread out over different states. The other side . . .well that's best left alone. When we did get together, I was the youngest. Several years seperated me from my cousins - so while my brothers and cousins hung out together, I was sitting with the adults felling . . .well . . .bored. I feel so blessed that my brothers and I live relatively close. One brother is in another state, and it always feels like someone is missing when we are together.
Several years back, we started having family dinners. The first Sunday of the month, we would get together and have a potluck dinner. The cousins would wrestle and play, the adults would catch up, and the grandparents would bestow some of their wisdom on us. I'm not sure why we stopped - life gets busy, and no one seemed to have time. The cousins have commented that they miss it. So last Sunday, my oldest brother put together a dinner and we vowed to get back on track. I am pleased. I like family dinners.
Grandma and Auntie Michele
The cousins - Jacob, Jordan, Chance, Angie, Chrissy, and Cierra
Chelsea (the birthday girl) and her brother Ron - he just returned from a two year mission to Rome, Italy - welcome back