Family: August 2004 Archives

Joseph is 8


Today was Joseph's eighth birthday. He woke up excited and ready to go -- Grandma (my mom) was taking him to Petco to buy a couple of hermit crabs and all their accessories. He has studied and enjoyed the toads and the tadpoles and the goldfish in the backyard, but he has never before had a real pet. Now Rocky and Rainbow are in an aquarium in his room. He is determined to know everything about them and the right way to take care of them.

Next Grandma took him and a friend he made in her neighborhood to the Oklahoma Aquarium. We have a membership, and he loves going there. The highlight of the visit was the new stingray touch tank. Joseph loved feeding the stingrays at SeaWorld Orlando and was a little disappointed that there weren't any at the park in San Antonio, so it's exciting to have these gentle and graceful creatures so close to home. Grandma let him pick a small item from the gift shop. He thought about getting a box of shark's teeth, but thought he might lose them one by one, so instead he picked out a shark's tooth necklace, reasoning he'll be able to keep track of it better.

Grandma brought him home, and his other Grandmother and his Great Aunt Mildred took him and his little sister swimming at the neighborhood pool. After a rough start last summer (early morning swim class outdoors in early June -- not a pleasant experience), he has become confident in the water, especially with his new goggles and flippers, but even without.

Back at home, Joe took his crabs out of the cage and watched them walk around. They're quicker than you might think.

For his birthday dinner, Joe asked for Grandmother to broil orange roughy. He also wanted some plain spaghetti with butter on it -- a favorite. There was also corn on the cob and fresh green beans. Joe's spaghetti-eating style is not elegant -- using a fork to scoop the ends of a dozen noodles into his mouth then working the rest of the noodles in with his lips and teeth -- didn't bother me, but I could see it was getting on Grandmother's nerves a bit. If I don't correct him, Grandmother will be upset -- we're spoiling him. If I do correct him, Grandma will be upset -- too much criticism about trivial things. Granddaddy (Grandmother's husband) solved the problem by saying, "It's his birthday." Leave him be.

Blowing out the candles (all eight in one blow), "Happy Birthday", and cake -- a chocolate cake with black Spiderman webs traced in the icing, and a Spiderman figurine perched in the center -- and ice cream followed.

Then the gifts. He remembered to thank everyone without being prompted. One of his favorites -- a K'Nex building set. He has loved to build since he started working with Duplos before his second birthday. I gave him David Macaulay's book, Building Big, which he seemed quite pleased with. I also gave him The Magician's Nephew, the first book in the Narnia series, which we'll read together, both of us for the first time. Over the last year, Joseph has gone from reading most things aloud to reading silently most of the time. One of his summer reading books was a biography of John Glenn -- nearly 200 pages, and he finished it and enjoyed it. He was excited about getting a little Intel video/digital camera -- takes lower-res images and a few seconds of video, which you can download via USB. Grandpa gave him, and installed, a headlight and a taillight for his bicycle.

It's been a busy summer for Joe, a sign of things to come if we aren't careful. This week is Vacation Bible School at our church. He spent a week at a day camp at Bella Vista, spending the nights with his Grandmother and Granddaddy. He spent another week here in town at Camp Invention's session at the University School. He spent a week with his cousins in OKC -- the mornings they were in his aunt's summer art camp -- she teaches elementary art in one of the public school district's there. Then we had our week as a family in Texas. It's been a lot of fun, but there hasn't been much ordinary time.

At 50" and 52 pounds, Joe is right at median height for his age, but a bit on the skinny side. His blond hair has darkened a bit, but it's still golden. He is still affectionate -- loves to sit in our laps and snuggle, loves to get and give hugs. I am awfully proud of him, and I'm blessed to get to be his dad.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Family category from August 2004.

Family: June 2004 is the previous archive.

Family: September 2004 is the next archive.

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