Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Happy 8th Birthday to my Not-so-Little Boy

Written by, Bernadyn Nettles

Recently, I woke up thinking, "Oh my gosh, is it really here? What happened to last year and last month? How fast did yesterday blur right before my eyes?" What am I rambling on about? Well, my son just celebrated his eighth birthday. It comes the same time every year and it always gets here before I'm ready. This time, though, I felt that it was a bit different. I think it's because he's actually showing signs that he is growing up, that he is learning more about the real world, and that he really is an older child instead of a little boy. **Cue water works.** Welcome to another Mommy Cab Discussion!

kids, parenting, mommy

As I drove around in my Mommy cab with my daughter to pick up my son's birthday items, we discussed how this is the first year when he didn't request a lot of toys for his gifts. I think that is one of the main things that is different this birthday that made me realize how much older he really is.

He seldom plays with toys now, so I don't know why it surprised me. It's because I'm in denial, isn't it? It reminded me that when I was about his age, I stopped playing with dolls and toys, too. I was a bookworm by then and would rather read than play with toys.

I guess it's finally happening -- that parenting moment you knew was coming, but you may not have realized it would happen so quickly -- when kids outgrow playing with toys. 

growing, parenting, kids

Except for him, it's not just books he would rather enjoy. He has taken a strong interest in sports. He would rather be outdoors playing sports instead of playing indoors with his toys, which I am happy about because it keeps him active, but I have to admit it makes me a little sad because I used to love watching his imagination at work when he played with his toys.

Another moment that made me realize he truly is getting older with this birthday year is that shopping for his clothes has moved us up to the next size category. As my daughter and I were trying to find the specific type of clothes he now enjoys wearing, we realized they were  in the older children's section and no longer clothes that I can find in the little boy's section. My daughter noticed it right away. She made it more real by saying, "Mom, he has to wear big boy's clothes now."

But that's the reality of our kids growing up. They won't always be little boys and girls. And that's okay as long as we stay close to them, be there for them, and keep them on the right path.

kids' birthday, parenting, family

He was so grateful for his gifts and the celebration we planned for his weekend. He didn't ask for many of the gifts we gave him and I think he was surprised that we put all of this together.

He even kept telling me prior to his birthday that he didn't want to hear about the plans we were making. I felt like I was more excited than him. I kept wanting to talk about the weekend, he did not. He wanted to be surprised and told me it was up to us what we wanted to do. Say whaaattt??

Can you see where my daughter dug in her fingers to have some cake??
We began his birthday day early because we had to get on the road to drive to south Florida. We had a little celebration for breakfast before we left. It gave my son the chance to have some birthday cake and open his gifts.

He is all about sports now, so most of his gifts were sports-related: clothes, hats, sunglasses to match the hat and his new favorite shoes. We even picked up a jersey he has been wanting -- Stephen Curry from the Golden State Warriors. We did get him the few toys he mentioned he liked at the store, which were Transformers.

Birthday cake, birthday card, Momlife

Additionally, we threw in some movies  for him and his sister to be able to watch on the road trip, including "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and the first two Harry Potter films. He was excited about receiving those now that he wants to start learning more about Harry Potter.

Our first stop was the hotel we booked in Fort Lauderdale. We checked in, dropped everything off, and headed to the hotel pool. Afterward, we changed and headed to the Shops at Sunset Place.
celebrations, miami mall, florida
We found this little area in front of a furniture store at the Shops at Sunset Place in Miami, FL. My daughter was just so fascinated by these two children on the tree.
We explored and shopped a little at the mall, then enjoyed a fun birthday dinner that evening at Johnny Rockets.

celebration, parenting, johnny rockets
We had his birthday dinner at Johnny Rockets celebrating with delicious milkshakes. Yum!

While we were at Barnes and Noble, a little girl saw their balloons that they received from Johnny Rockets. She wanted one of her own. My son later decided he would rather give the little girl his balloon than keep it. We found them and he gave it to her, causing her to have a huge smile. It was a beautiful moment and it made made me proud to see my son do a small selfless ac.
The next day we went on a pirate cruise, Bluefoot Pirate Family Adventures. Read all about our boat ride and see the fun photos!

The entire weekend was a nice getaway filled with new adventure. We went to the beach and enjoyed some cold treats before getting back on the road to drive back home. We were wiped by the time it was over!

Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
We thought this was so fun that there was a basketball court on the beach. It's not pictured here, but there was also an outdoor fitness area.
 Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Remembering all the fun we had for her brother's special day was not lost on my daughter. Now she asks me in the car whenever we're running errands, "Is it time for my birthday?" Oh boy, that will come soon enough!

Check out more posts from our Mommy Cab Discussions series.

Pass this post along to a mom or dad you may know who would enjoy reading it. Are these similar feelings you had when your child was about this age? Share and let me know, I'd love to hear it!

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