Last night as NHL was getting ready to go to sleep, I was setting some programs to DVR and making sure we had enough room. While checking to see if an episode of “The Spectacular Spiderman” was one I hadn’t seen, I accidentally hit play. NHL only saw the first couple of seconds, but that was enough for his “bedtime procratination sense” to tingle. He asked to see it and I told him that I’d show it to him another day. He asked what happened in the episode, so I explained the story briefly.
Me: “Spiderman found a black costume that made him stronger, but it also made him mean to people. He didn’t like being mean, so he took off the costume. This episode tells how he took it off.”
NHL: “Who’s Howie?”
As this point, I couldn’t contain myself. I burst out laughing and had to leave the room. I told B who also burst out laughing. As I caught my breath, I told a confused NHL that he just said something very funny even though he didn’t know it. (I didn’t want him thinking I was laughing at him.) It was all-too-much like something from the Naked Gun movies. Yes, I am serious and don’t call my Shirley.
All this is just a roundabout way of saying Happy Birthday to my now-six-year old NHL. Last year, at this point, he couldn’t read at all. Now he’s reading whole books to himself (and us). Last year, he couldn’t ride on a bike two feet without help. This year, he can ride almost all the way around the block without needing help. (Only some uneven sidewalks stand in his way.) Last year, he didn’t know any math at all. Now he’s adding and subtracting like a pro. He keeps learning so much that it is sometimes hard to keep track of it all. He’ll display some piece of knowledge and I’ll have to stop and ask “NHL, when did you learn *THAT*?” This can be good, like with reading various complicated words, or bad, like playing Mario Kart Wii with me and telling me that he’s going to “kick my ass.” (Yes, I told him never to say that again.)
While tucking him into bed last night, NHL told me that he’s going to miss being five. He was afraid that he wouldn’t be able to do things that he liked doing because he’ll be six. I told him that he’s had a lot of fun being five, but that every year he’ll be able to do more, not less. He’ll still be able to do the things he loved doing when he was five, but he’ll be able to find new things that he loves doing that he wasn’t able to do before.
I watch NHL grow with mixed emotions. Part of me finds it amazing to watch him grow into such an intelligent young man, but part of me wants to keep him a baby forever. As he gets older, I’ll miss the hugs and father-son cuddle moments that were so much a part of his younger years. But then again, I guess I’ll take my own advice and look forward to finding all of the new things that we can do together that we weren’t able to do before.
Happy birthday, NHL, from your very proud dad!
(For B’s Happy birthday message to NHL, hop on over to TheAngelForever.com.)