Yesterday I was invited to the launch of Christmas at Canada Place for 2013, getting a chance to preview the free holiday activities. Aiden brought along one of his best buds for the event, plus we left the Dads at home with the younger kids, so it was quite the treat for them! It was so nice to be able to really give Aiden the attention of the night.
Christmas at Canada place is held ‘outdoors’, but in the covered parking area, so it was quite warm. We started our night with a little skating on the artificial ice, which kept our boys going for nearly a full hour. Both boys were up on their skates in minutes, neither having really skated before. The artificial ice was a great introduction to skating and really boosted their confidence. It was so cute to see them skate around, happily falling and crashing without getting wet or cold.
After dragging them off the ice, we went for a train ride on the mini train, noting the familiar face of the conductor who runs the Polar Express each year. We checked out the animatronics of the Woodward’s Windows, made a cute reindeer craft and lined up to meet Santa. Both kids balked at meeting Santa this time, but thankfully we have other scheduled Santa visits.
We had a fantastic night, though I do wish the hot chocolate had been closer to the skating area, since us moms could have enjoyed that during the skating! By the time we got to that area, it was too late to give the boys that kind of treat.
It is so great that this event is provided for free, as so many Christmas activities are not. Though they suggest a $2 donation for the skates and for the train rides, it is still one of the most frugal family-friendly Christmas activities in the Vancouver area. Check out the website for full details on hours and musical performances.
There used to be a time when a kiss could make it better. When the magic of a touch could dry the tears and warm the heart. And while a gentle touch and cuddle still do the job, there’s no more “Mommy, kiss it better!”
Instead, there’s a subtle hand sneaking up to wipe away that kiss just given. A smile and a shrug. Thanks mom, but no thanks.
They grow up quickly.
Aiden isn’t going to sleep tonight for some reason, so he’s babbling. And this is just one of the adventures he’s made up:
I’m a new racing car. Vroom Vroom
Why are you called Vroom Vroom?
Because that’s what my name is.
Why are you called Vroom Vroom?
That’s because I like being Vroom Vroom. That means I’m a race car. All race cars vroom vroom and their names are all Vroom Vroom. Because because weeeee aaaaarrrrreee so big. Gianter than a giant kid. Or than a grown up. Or than a little giant. Or than a big giant. Or a bigger giant.
We are bigger than houses. We are bigger than airplanes.
Today you are 4! Each day I look at you in awe, inspired by the person you’ve become and wondering where my baby has gone and how he grew into the boy I see before me. It seems like yesterday that you turned 3, and yet looking back now you were still so little. Now, at 4, so much change is upon us and I can feel it coming. You talk with joy and anticipation of all the changes the next year will bring, like starting Kindergarten next September.
Still, for now, you are my little boy. We start and end each day with a smile and a cuddle, and that’s just how I want it to stay as long as possible.
You have become your own person this year, bubbling with independence and self-assuredness. You walk into preschool, playgroups and new places with an infectious grin and readiness to make new friends – and you do, wherever you go. It’s hard not to have fun when you are around. Now that you’re back in preschool, I’m all too aware that our time together is coming to a close and I want to be sure we fill up our time with as much downtime together at home as we do with parks and playgroups and special trips.
Whether you have a train, airplane or hot wheels car in hand, you are ready to spin wild tales of adventure endlessly. Almost every day, we spend special time together playing board games, doing crafts or reading books, then we’re off to create adventures of our own as a family.
Though adjusting to your role as big brother has had its challenges, you have been more amazing and gentle and loving than I could have ever imagined. Your bother looks up to you with such wonder and the bubbling excitement he has when first seeing you melts me every time. I love to see you wrestle and tickle and play as only two brothers can.
You’re growing up too fast, my Aiden. Your life moves forward at a pace that’s hard to keep up with. You sign your name to your art with determination and pride, and I hope that no matter what you do in life, you’ll be proud to put your stamp upon it. You make me proud every day.
Aiden, my Aiden, you’ll always be my special boy. I love you more than “everything in all the world”, as we like to tell each other. Today, you are 4. Happy Birthday.
My boys are getting closer by the day lately. As Damien grows up, it’s clear that Aiden is enjoying his role of big brother even more. Damien is able to play some things with him now (trains, cars, etc), they read together, but their favourite times are spent just roughhousing or going crazy making faces and sounds together. Damien now will launch himself at Aiden for hugs and kisses, which suits my cuddly Aiden just fine!
Every morning since Aiden was quite small, he has come to our room in the morning for some snuggles. When he was older, he looked at photos on a phone or later watched some short show or YouTube clips. It afforded us a way to wake up in the morning! Now Damien comes to our room in the morning too and is more than happy to snuggle with me, but not so much with anyone else. We don’t use electronics in the morning anymore, but they have a bucket of toys they play with and, if both are awake at the same time, they roughhouse, tickle, or just play silly games. Aiden is finally getting the cuddles he’s always wanted from Damien, though still he would want more!
Just this week, Aiden got to hold Damien for the first time. Damien is not really a lap kid, and Aiden wasn’t interested in holding Damien when he was very small, so this was a big moment. The two sat together while they were pulled around on little scooter boards at StrongStart – and Aiden was so proud!