September finally arrived, and it was Ben's birthday. His siblings all have birthdays early in the year and he has to wait ALL YEAR LONG and finally... it's here. This changes the "age count" for our family when people ask the ages of our children. For half of the year, everyone is an even two years apart: 5,7,9,11,13. Then comes Ben's birthday, which changes the count to 5,8,9,11 and 13. John and I have to help each other keep it straight, but the worst time is the two months in between February and the end of April when we have four different changeovers. I know people think John and I have lost our minds when we cannot remember exactly how old our children are. But for now, Ben is eight, and he is happy.
Yesterday, the Big Day, we invited Ben's friend Andrew to go to the barbecue Festival downtown with our family (this is one of my favorite weekends of the year!) We watched our cool friend Erik play drums with his blues band and ran into lots of friends to talk to (gotta love living in a small town!) Afterward, I took the little boys to Toys R Us (am I the only one who *hates* Toys R Us?) and let Ben pick out his new skates while John took John Mark and Becca shopping at Gander Mountain for clothes for their squirrel hunting expedition tomorrow afternoon. (This will be their first Real Hunting experience, so we'll see how it goes...)
This morning, John took Ben to breakfast at McDonald's. Over sausage biscuits, Ben asked, "Dad, do I have to go to college?" "If you want a good job you do," replied John. "What if my dad was a veterinarian?" (John really wasn't sure how to take that.) "Do you want to be a veterinarian?" asked John. "No" said Ben, "I don't want to die of any diseases." "What diseases do veterinarians die of?" asked John. "Rabies!" said Ben. (John is enjoying this conversation) "So what do you want to be when you grow up?" inquired John. "Something without spelling!" replies Ben. (So whatever his future occupation is, he does not want it to involve spelling words.)
Tonight, Ben was allowed to invite one friend over for his very first sleepover, so Ben and Zachary are in the den watching a movie before bedtime. We cooked hotdogs in the backyard again tonight (just because it's so much fun), ate birthday cake, and the boys played in the sand pit that was vacated when John put up the pool this afternoon. (they couldn't believe their good fortune!)
And September is gone.