Watercolor Birthday

Early on Maggie’s birthday, while I was blearily making my breakfast in the kitchen, Griffin quietly padded downstairs and hunkered down at the art table. In less than an hour, he produced a series of eight surprise paintings as a gift for his sister. After drying them on the radiator, he kept them in a secret pile until we opened presents in the evening. He presented each one to Maggie with a title and a short explanation.


The Park
It’s not a play park. It’s just a park that you can run around in.


Sunny Day on the Beach
It’s about a beach that’s blue and sunny. It’s always sunny. And it’s always fun to play at.


A Tree Losing its Leaf
“This a tree that lost its leaf when it was spring and it was just a little maple tree that didn’t have any other trees around it. It was in the middle of nowhere and no one gave water to it and it was just in the middle of nowhere.”


Funky World
“This unknown world that has a green sun and the houses look like hand prints. This funky world is like so funny.”


A Tree With No Leaves
“This tree is so new that it doesn’t even have its leaves yet. It’s just like a little baby tree and it is a maple tree.”


The Roller Coaster
“That’s a roller coaster that has only roller coasters in the fair.”


The Cave
“It’s a cave with all these teeth and some scary eyes and the purple line if you were wondering it is a spike in the cave.”


The Alien
“This alien lives in space and it’s always happy and it has one eye and this is a green eye and it’s always smiling unless if it’s mad.”

Birthday’s Eve

At dinner tonight, hours before Griffin’s 6th birthday, Sarah inaugurated the event by telling Griffin the story of his birth. (If you need a refresher, see one of our earliest posts on this blog: Birth Story.) It began with us simply reminiscing about what we were up to six years ago: watching Watchmen at the Grand Lake, wondering how the incredibly loud soundtrack would affect the as yet unnamed baby, hoping it might encourage him to come out. Sarah so uncomfortable at bedtime that she needed the bedroom to herself. Me reading A Midwife’s Tale on the couch. Both of us eager to meet Griffin.

As I listened to her retelling the story, I felt like I had slipped into the movie version of our lives. Of course it was real life, so there were plenty of un-cinematic interruptions, but fundamentally Griffin was mesmerized, and the whole experience felt exactly right. He asked questions, filled in details that he remembered from past conversations, and wanted to hear the story to the very end. He laughed in disbelief when I described seeing his crowning head, and then how he refused to proceed any further for hours.

When Sarah wrapped up, Maggie demanded, “Mama tell MY story!” Sarah told her she’d just have to wait for her birthday.