Saturday, February 8, 2014

The big SIX

Hello friends and family,

It is with mixed emotions I share with you the last picture of Easton and Layla as five-year-olds.

On this morning as they rushed out the door for just another ordinary day of school I was mourning and cheering the last day before their sixth birthday.  The mourning is for the sad reality that my "small children" are now "kids".  The cheering is for the continued growth, maturity, and sprouting personalities that will come from their sixth trip around the sun.  Layla agreed to stop wetting her pullups at night and Easton agreed to stop sucking his thumb.  No one told me I'd be dealing with these issues through their sixth birthday, but I know parenting doesn't come with a manual.

Let me back up a day though.  Wednesday was Layla's group skate lesson.  I've been searching for used figure skates for the past month, but nothing came up on my online or local shop radar.  I mentioned our search to the instructor who took me to a back room filled with gear where I waited outside.  She brought out a pair of almost new skates and sold them to me for $25.  These are about $130 new so I thanked her asked Layla, "Do you want these as your birthday gift?"  She quickly nodded and I said, "Happy Birthday to you!"

Took her a few minutes to get used to the bigger toe pick and precision blade, but after a couple of falls she was skating circles around the instructor.

OK, then jump over over my day of mourning and cheering on Thursday to their big birthday, Friday.  I went to work and they went to school.  My schedule included meetings up to 1:00 so no lunch for this guy.  I went straight to Easton and Layla's school to pick them up and then rushed home to meet Kendra.  She drove out East to fetch Zander and Joya, their two friends.  We will have a big birthday party in a few weeks with a bounce house and a house full of people, but for their actual birthday we gave them some choices.  We said they could choose one friend each and do one activity.  Layla chose Joya as her friend and ice skating as the activity.

Layla smiled her way through her first full private lesson.  The instructor said she is a joy to work with and has real potential.  

Her friend Joya had a great time skating, but she wasn't much better than the only other person on the ice rink, a four-year-old newbie.  After Layla's lesson the three of them skated around while Layla taught them some basics.

Is Layla getting comfortable on the ice?  Absolutely!  She laid down on the ice for a few seconds and just absorbed the atmosphere before realizing she was getting wet.  

Easton chose Zander as his friend and golf as his activity.  The monthly golf lesson happened to fall on Easton's birthday.  I rushed the girls home, then drove the boys straight to First Tee.  Zander played golf a few times in his short life so he wasn't completely new to the idea.  The coach to student ratio was roughly 1 to 3, which is really great considering his teacher to student ratio in Kindergarten is 1 to 24.

The two boys goofed off more than I was used to when Easton was here alone, but I didn't care because they were just here to have fun.    

Things got serious a couple of times when they were concentrating on putting.  They cheered each other on during the hour-long lesson and I had a great time watching then enjoy the perfect weather and fun in learning.

Easton mistakenly believes that whoever hits the ball the furthest wins.  That's great from off the tee box. but he carries that idea over to chipping and putting.  The coach only had to yell "fore" once that day.

After golf ended we packed up the van and drove immediately home where Kendra, the girls, and her parents were waiting for the birthday celebration.  We ate homemade tacos and dove right into the cake and festivities.  Happy birthday to Easton and Layla!  

The kids played in the hot tub while us adults hung out on the back patio wrapped up in blankets.  We don't have very many friends who are close enough to let our hair down and fun enough to enjoy our company.  All four of them get along with all four of us Webbs.  I know, it's not a miracle, but sure makes for pleasant times together when it all lines up.  It's relatively easy for a single person to find a single friend and get along.  However, when you throw two couples into the mix and both couple's kids it doesn't always work out well for everyone.  We are very grateful for the few close families we share life with on a regular basis.  

See you soon!

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