When Jalen's birthday came, I couldn't believe how emotional I felt all day about it....Jalen turning five. And although he was so proud, mentioning it all day to almost everyone he talked to, reality hit that I am not ready for my baby to reach this age. I love so much the moments that only a little boy creates that makes me smile and laugh. I don't ever want them to be outgrown. Here's a few examples of what I love so much about Jalen:
* He is a loveable little guy; always has a kiss for his mom; loves to cuddle; and still (not sure if this is a good thing) likes to come and sleep in my bed at night
* He is a peacemaker; always on the lookout for his sister and brother; and will easily give up or share something to make them happy
*Jalen has such a fun personality. He continually keeps our family entertained and laughing. A couple of stories to share....
Whenever we head outside and Jalen spots a landscape worker, he has to run over to them and say, "Hola!" He will even wait for them to come closer if they are driving the lawn mowers and are some distance away. The workers usually grin, laugh a little and nod and then Jalen rides off on his bike with a very proud smile! One day while at the park, Jalen was leading a group of 4-5 little boys chasing down and running after a lawn mower. I ran after them to explain the danger in that and how they needed to leave the workers alone and let them do their work. Jalen's response, "But Mom! I just want to say 'Hola' to them!" At first I didn't know if I should be embarrassed or embrace his efforts in identifying with culture differences and trying to relate to them. Whether it's appropriate or not, I'm not sure. Regardless, Jalen loves trying to communicate just that one Spanish word he knows!
One day after watching the garbage truck go through our neighborhood, Jalen turned to me and said, "Garbage truck drivers are the smartest people in the whole world!" I said, "What makes you think that?" "Because they have to know how to do lots of things...drive that big truck and not hit other cars or people and they have to pick up all those cans without dropping them. Maybe when I get bigger, I can be smart enough to learn how to do that, too!"
During the summer we took the kids to a rodea, the Ute Stampede in Utah. We had a blast! We had great seats, right next to the bull pen, where all the horses and bulls were let out. We closely watched the riders saddle up, their preparations before the gates opened, and the cowboys who led the horses or bulls out of the arena. So Jalen had a very up close and personal experience with cowboys, horses and bulls. The next day, Jalen was talking to his Aunt Meagan. Here's how their conversation went:
Jalen, very seriously: Do you ever wish you could be on TV?
Meagan: No, not really, do you?
Jalen: Yes! Someday, I'm going to be a cowboy and ride those bucking bulls and be so good people will all come to watch me and I'll be on TV, too.
I love his insights about life!
It wasn't too big of a surprise when Jalen wanted a Cowboy Birthday Party.
Jalen had a very fun day. His favorite cowboy games we played were shooting squirt guns at plastic snakes and hitting empty pop cans with nerf guns. Typical boy!!
Towards the end of the party, I was sitting by the table while the kids were eating cake and ice cream. They were all being so cute and funny...talking about Halloween and saying some of their favorite cowboy words, like Yeehaw! and Ride 'em cowboy! and Giddyup! I couldn't stop smiling at how adorable they were. And then I realized, this is why I do birthday parties. It may be a ton of work and take many hours, (especially when thrown together at the last minute) but it is so worth it! These kids are all so worth it!
So Happy Birthday Jalen! You are a sweet, good boy and we all love you so much!