Yes it's true Gentry David just turned 9! I know us parents always say "I feel like it was just yesterday he was born"...but seriously that's exactly what I feel like! I no longer have a baby, a toddler, a little boy, I have a full blown kid!!!
I tell him often, I wish you were still little, but I love that you are growing up. I'm starting to feel ill-equipped for the next stages in life with him. Up until this point costumes and superheroes have pretty much solved every problem that comes our way.
From birth to 2 all he needed was mom :)
From 2-5 all the kid needed was a costume to make his day...some home made, some store bought.
When he was scared to go to preschool, we let wear his monkey costume that he loved and wore almost everyday. Then he started school and just needed his buddies Wyatt or Asher and a pile of super heroes and Lego's to build an amazing super-hero hide out for 3 hours.
And now...he loves skating, surfing, video games, neighborhood soccer games, crazy hair, and occassionaly has an attitude that will knock your socks off! He even looks adults in the eye and speaks with them!!! Where did that come from?? Who are you and what did you do with my fluffly headed costume wearing superhero that only spoke to other costumed superheros?
Over the last year the closest thing I have seen to a costume is his school uniform, and occasionally super-heroes make their way into the tub if he takes a bath, but even then they are left there for weeks before he notices them missing. I realized the other day I like having them there, I could put them away in his room, but there's a piece of me that can't bear to put them up for fear they may never return to the tub. I'm going to miss those guys, and the day those superheros have their last mission in our tub will certainly be a sad day. They have fought and served hard for this family, they all deserve purple hearts for the sacrifices they have made in order to complete their missions. There will always be a special place in my heart and I will forever be grateful for Spidey, Captain A, Iron Man, Batman, Hawk Eye, Hulk, Captain Jack, Davey Jones, Black Panther, Thor, The Rock, John Cena, and the countless others sitting in the bottom of his toy chest that have provided support services, for all the hours of fun, adventure, and sheer joy they have brought to our lives. From this 4 star General mom, I salute you all and will miss you more than you will ever know.
When G's birthday rolled around this year, I had a small glimmer of hope that we could have just one last costume party to go out of child-hood with a bang, but clearly that boat has sailed and I would not be appearing as Bat Woman this year :( So in the kitchen one night all alone eating some cookies I wiped a couple of tears away realizing my baby boy is indeed growing up and decided I needed to jump on his fun kid train and ride it all the way to the pre-teen years! There I will undoubtedly stop for some more tear shedding, regather myself, and force myself back onto the train we call growing up. One train stop at a time I will watch this sweet boy grow up and hopefully learn to enjoy the scenery as we pass through the terrains of life together.
G wanted a skate party...of course he did! Adding insult to injury G wanted a big party!! Insult you wonder? I'm going to let you in on a little secret about the Costa Rican culture...birthday parties are a BIG FREAKIN deal! No spankin joke nearly every birthday party we have attended of Gentry's classmates includes a full blown meal and not just any meal...pretty darn amazing meals! In fact the week before Gentry's party we went to one that had a legit pig roast...yes you read that correctly a pig roast with an entire table full of sides to choose from. Also these Ticos love to party, so parties are HOURS long in fact the invitations never have an end time (numerous parties have hit the 6 hour mark...I'm so not kidding), and seriously Gentry usually comes home with as many goodies as the birthday kid. And last but not least there is ALWAYS and when I say ALWAYS, I mean ALWAYS a pinata filled to the absolute top so every child comes home with oodles of candy. Now that all sounds like great fun and all, but let's take a step back and remember that I am not a Costa Rican and the thought of hanging out with people and being in charge of a bunch of screaming kids for an unspecified amount of time where oodles of sugar is involved just about sends this introvert into a panic attack!!! (Please wait while I breath into my paper bag now!!!)
The reality was, the normal 2 hour, cutesy pinterest gringo party I can pull off was not going to cut it; and that article I recently read about birthday parties should only be about the birthday kid and other kids don't need goodie bags to help teach them the world doesn't revolve around them went right out the window. I will let someone else start that trend here in Costa Rica. Game faces were on to try and at least attempt to give G a Costa Rican birthday party. First things first...time. I couldn't bring myself to have the all day ongoing party without an end time, but we did make the party 3 hours instead of 2. I felt like that was a good way to ease myself into this party culture. Next thing... food. How do I even compete with a pig roast? Well these gringos put our best foot forward and decided to serve pancakes, G was thrilled, and yes clearly we are so gringo. Goody bags and pinata were filled and the skate park was reserved. All systems go for our first attempt at a party here in Costa Rica.
It ended up being so much fun. Besides skating a good friend of ours wrote the kids names in graffitti on little canvases and then the kids painted them. The kids love it, and Rafa was so gracious to come on a Saturday morning to a kids birthday party!! He's a pretty awesome dude! Overall it was a success and G skated into his 9th year with good friends and pancakes!! It might not have been the superhero themed costumed party I am used to, but I am embracing this new stage of growing up and am excited (and a little scared) to walk hand in hand with Jeff as we navigate through parenthood together.
|All the greedy older kids got most of the candy!|
|The shirt we ordered G for his birthday ended up being way to small and is the size for a 4 year old, but he insist on wearing it anyways cause it says "keep calm, skate on". There's only so much I can do :)|
|The filled to the brim pinata!|
|Cupcakes were a sucess!|
|Make a wish!|
|Seriously make your wish!!|
|Funny faces :)|
|His skateboard matching cake|
|He didn't really want to cut it :)|
|G-Man painting his name :)|
|Graffitti kids :)|
|Dave definitely got the coolest dad award at the party, he pretty much showed all the kids up :)|
|The skate life|
|Felipe and Lukey|
|Did I mentione Rafa was amazing??? Cause he was!!|
|Maelie took her first bottle from Pamela!! Thanks Pamela for hanging with Maelie the whole time!|
|With a spatula in hand, the man is in his element!!|
|Pancake assembly line!|
|A break for pancakes!|
|Rafa was drawing the entire time! We owe him huge!|
|Boys and wheels :)|
|Dave was on skate patrol|