We spent their birthday weekend camping at Hermit Island, as per tradition (more on that later this week). Right now they are obsessed with The Lord of the Rings (mostly Z) and Star Wars (The Clone Wars--mostly E). They love to build Legos (and trade Legos) and play baseball and climb trees and get dirty (mostly E). They play-fight with sticks and their bare hands, climbing on each other and wrestling like puppies all the time. They are the best of friends--though they would never admit it--and only once in a while get sick of each other (at which point, a minute or two in separate rooms is all it takes to dissipate the negative vibes). They would both rather read than almost anything, but they both also need a large dose of outside time and exercise every day (especially Z).
They were made very happy with Mad Libs, tea, chocolate chip cookies, Lego sets, four-square balls, a Nerf gun (E) and a "gold" elf crown (Z), and the next two How to Train Your Dragon books for birthday presents. They'll be having a Lord of the Rings party next weekend, for which I bought Nerf swords and plastic-and-foam-and elastic "bow and arrow" sets, finally putting a nail in the coffin of my "no weapons" policy that lost much of its teeth back when their older brother was small and made guns out of every conceivable household object. They are "boy" to their cores--and yet, Z lays his head on my lap to get his braids re-done every couple of days, and E still knits now and then, and they both run to tell me when new flowers pop up in the yard.
And M turns thirteen today. Thirteen. That means I am mother to a teenager. And you know what? It's not nearly as scary as I thought it would be (yet). M's a pretty cool kid, with a good sense of humor, who is fun to hang out with and talk to (even if he does call me a "chump" a "bozo" and a "fool" every now and then). He has a pile of guitar-themed presents waiting for him at home, to be opened after his brother's baseball game. A few nights ago, he had a nightmare that I'd thrown him a birthday party and invited all of my friends and everyone he's ever met, and he tried to escape but couldn't. It sounds like fun to me! Hopefully his best friend will come over to jam this weekend, and eat peppermint bark. And it won't be a nightmare.
I have to admit, that it hurts my heart a little to think about "Pat the Bunny" and Peter Rabbit books, wooden trains and stuffed animals, to remember those babies with their bald heads, in their snuggly nightgowns and big, fat cloth-diaper butts, their chubby feet curled up frog-like as they slept. But I kind of like the people they're becoming, so I guess it's okay.