Thursday, March 17, 2011

Kiss Him. He's 6.

I think it's funny that Calvin will probably always wear green on his birthday. (At least from the ages of 5 to 11 and then again around 32, when he has kids of his own.)

He's my Irish-Korean-American-Jabber-Jaws.

He melts my heart faster'n a stick of butter on a windowsill.

We surprised him with dinner out at Red Lobster, on account of his recently discovered, deep and abiding love for shrimp.

It all started about a year ago, with these. Shrimp snacks.

Think shrimp flavored Cheetos.

(Though wouldn't we all rather not think shrimp flavored Cheetos?)

In an endearing display of brotherly love, Calvin was introduced to Shrimp Snacks via his brand new brother, fresh off a plane with nothing but empty bottles and 2 bags of Shrimp Snacks.

Oh, they smell so bad.

Suffice it to say, Calvin was pumped for his own plateful of shrimp.

Exhibit A: The Before Shot

Exhibit Be: The After

Homeboy really packed away some shrimp, along with half of Daddy's plate of assorted fried sea delicacies.

(Incidentally, this is what he looked like when he was in full-blown ALPS mode, with a spleen 3 times its normal size.)

I gotta tell you, I'll be fine if I don't dine at RL for a long, long while.

It was greasy and expensive.

And Cory kept chatting up the locals. (He worked there 15 years ago and several of his old co-workers still! work there.)

But again, and again, ad nauseum, it wasn't about me. Our birthday boy slurped up the grease like it was his job in life.

It's such a gift, living life with these amazing small people.

All day long I found myself thinking of his birth Mama, a world away. We talked about her tonight at bedtime and I knew I was treading on thin ice, bringing up such a potentially emotional topic with the lights already turned out, just two ticks away from a dream. But it's not my place to sweep this sort of thing under the rug then dig it back out at a more convenient time.

This is his story, and I want him to know it deep in his heart.

My eyeballs throbbed while we talked about how pretty she must be and how she is definitely thinking of him today. He was surprised that she would know that this was his birthday. This is why we talk about these things. We told him that she would never forget his birthday, that she probably thinks about him every day. We told him how lucky he is to have so many people in the world who love him so much.

I cranked up my will as loud as it would go and prayed that it echoed all the way over to his Own Special Habitat. Look at our boy! He's so happy. So loved. He's the most amazing six year old in the entire Universe, and you gave him that life. Be proud of him, Mama. Know that he's well and smart, with a kind heart and an intuitive soul. Know that he loves Jesus. Know that he loves you.

Calvin Lee drifted off to sleep in new Star Wars Lego pjs with a belly full of shrimp, a smile on his 6-year-old face and a heart topped off with the kind of love that never goes away.

I'm calling this birthday a success.