Like Q, The Boy celebrated his birth this year at least three times:
- On his official birthday, which was June 6th,* he opened his presents from Ong Ngoai, Grandpa & Grandma, his cousins in Minnesota, Q, and us. And we spent that Saturday and Sunday assembling large, wondrous Lego and Bionicle sets.
- Receiving a gift from his babysitter, also Legos (which he assembled, proudly, all by himself).
- Blue frosted cupcakes with a '6' piped on them at school, the tops licked clean by his classmates.
- At his party proper on Sunday, 6/14.
We all met at the Intrepid right as the doors opened, and headed up to the flight deck to check out the fighter jets and attack helicopters.
The Boy had been there before, and he happily served as informal tour guide for his friends (even the ones who themselves had already toured the museum). Among so many other things, he showed them where to sit on the large anti-aircraft guns and how to fire up the fans that demonstrate how a wing creates lift, and nearly lifted off himself. We were there for about two hours and probably could have made a day of it.
We then came back to the roof deck of our apartment building for pizza. The adults, good friends all, caught up a bit while the kids chased each other along the pavers or, fingers hooked in the fence, spied the boats 200 feet below. The wind being what it was, we all went down to our apartment for the singing and the candle-blowing and delicious aircraft carrier birthday cake. (My lovely wife did an amazing job on the cake, right? Certainly one of her best, and The Boy loved it. You better thank your mother.) As his friends and their parents forked aircraft carrier into their mouths, The Boy took time to get everyone cups of water.
It's funny, but I sometimes have trouble writing about him. Here's more or less how he began:
(That's Ba Ngoai doing the soothing, by the way.)
He's long now — has to fold himself up now to sit on my lap — but I can remember holding him in a single hand. Why he came early will remain a puzzle, as will what that's done to him, if anything.**
Also, I think of Q as part of Einstein's universe, like a heavy ball lying on a sheet, curving space and time and light around her. The Boy's pull, though, reminds me of Newton's gravity — a mysterious force, unexplainable action at a distance.
Some mysteries improve in their dispelling; others are more precious just the way they are.
Happy Birthday, son. We're proud of you, and we love you.
*Yes, he was 6 on the 6th day of the 6th month. I expected either the devil or Dan Brown to drop by that Saturday, but I guess neither was ultimately interested.
**I know, I know, but it's hard to stop thinking about.