I can’t believe Gavin is 11 years old. His life has come at a normal pace and I have been fine with every age. The other two kids seem to be on some warp speed track to adulthood. Not my Gavin. Each year of his life has felt like 365 days. No more. No less. Until now.

In many ways I can believe he is 11 and about to start middle school. What I can’t believe is how tall he is, or how mature he is becoming. It kills me that he is at that awkward in between stage. He’s caught somewhere between being a child and not a child. I can see the ambivalence on his face. Should I play like a kid or be boring like an adult? Am I too old for this? But I’m too young for that! I guess I feel bad for him. This is a tough age.

Gavin has always been satisfied with less. It makes him hard to shop for. When we asked him what he wanted for his birthday he gave us a list. I was pretty impressed that there was a list. One thing he really wanted was a Lego set “that my siblings won’t play with.” The set he really wanted was one of the larger sets from The Lego Movie. The request to have no other hands building, playing with, or tearing apart the set was a fair one.

We got him the set. He could not be happier about it.


And because Gavin is a sweetheart, he let his brother and sister help him put the set together.

This is basically all we did yesterday to celebrate Gavin’s birthday. Since his birthday was on a Saturday and nothing else was going on, we decided there was no reason to wait for gifts. We gave Gavin his present while he ate breakfast. When he was done eating the three of them started building. They built and played all day. There were a couple of minor skirmishes but for the most part they were content all day.

In the past we have bought gifts in the name of our kids. They are little and don’t have jobs so we bought extra stuff and put their name on it. It feels like it’s time for that trend to pass. I told Gwen and Parker that they could spend their own money on a gift for Gavin or they could think of something else to do for him to make his birthday special.

Gwen has a talent for paper crafts. This girl doesn’t just draw pictures. She cuts things out and glues the pieces together. She has made some pretty cool things. I saved a very large girl she made out of paper. The girl was so big Gwen would actually clip one of her hair bows in the girl’s paper hair. She has also made a house with a paper flap as the front door. When you open it you see the family she drew inside. Cute stuff. For Gavin she made a paper Gavin and a paper Gwen with a paper dog. It was so cute. She also made him a card.


I should have scanned the “Super Heroes” yesterday. Super Gwen has lost a shoe and her hair is a little sparse. Super Gavin never did have any hair. Gwen said he was an old man! The dog is sticking his tongue out panting. Gwen is crazy.

With no prompting at all, Gwen made Gavin breakfast. She put a piece of bread in the toaster and spread peanut butter on it when it was toasted. She also gave him an orange and asked me to pour him some milk. It was the sweetest thing!

For lunch we went to 5 Guys. Originally we wanted to go there for dinner but it would interfere with fasting for Fast Sunday. A true fast is for two consecutive meals. We have found it easier for those fasting (I can’t) to fast for dinner and breakfast. Anyway, so we went for lunch.

Gavin loves 5 Guys and I think I understand why. Those burgers taste very homemade. Gavin loves his dad’s burgers more than anything else in the world. More than any other food in the world too. The burgers at 5 Guys are delicious and incredibly messy. Gavin loves that mushrooms are a burger topping choice. That’s his favorite part. I say no to the mushrooms but yes to the rest of the toppings.

Heath scooped some peanuts for our family to share. I have never paid attention to the peanuts before. Gavin hates French fries but he loves peanuts. Parker was a little grumpy and complained that the peanut smell was making him sick. Ugh! Someone is always annoyed by something when it comes to food in our family! Gwen and Gavin had fun shelling their peanuts despite Parker’s dirty looks.

Parker really didn’t want to go out at all. I’m not sure why. I guess because the spotlight wasn’t on him and he was crazy jealous. So he complained about the peanuts. Then our food was ready. Heath ordered fries for everybody to share. It’s not a typical burger chain where the fries are part of a combo meal. Parker accidentally dropped a couple fries on the floor. After that he was so grouchy he wouldn’t even eat the rest of his burger. He just sat and glared at everybody. Every few minutes he would growl “Is it time to go yet?” Fun times.

Gwen got a junior sized burger but it was still too much food for her. She ate about half of it. Parker had maybe three bites of his burger. Now I remember the biggest reason why we hardly ever go to 5 Guys – it’s not worth the money! The burgers cost about $7 each. The total bill for our family of five was a little over $50. For lunch. That two of our kids couldn’t (or wouldn’t) eat. *sigh* Gavin was happy though.

When we got home Heath fell asleep on the couch. I was so bored I went upstairs to read. I fell asleep too. Nice nap! The kids were content to build Legos. I was feeling bad that we didn’t do anything for Gavin’s birthday. It was the most boring Saturday ever! Heath pointed out that we scored as parents. He said that Gavin hates Saturdays because we always drag him all over town. All he wants to do is stay home and do his own thing.

Without realizing it we gave him the best birthday ever. He sat on the living room floor all day happy as could be doing pretty much nothing. That was all he ever wanted. He would have freaked out if we took him anywhere other than his favorite restaurant. Heath is right. Happy birthday Gavin! You got the birthday party of your dreams!

Gavin chose to have an ice cream cake. We picked up a cake from Cold Stone Creamery after lunch. The five of us stared into the freezer at all the choices. Gavin chose the most chocolaty cake available.


It was made of devil’s food cake with chocolate ice cream. It had the creamiest, richest chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles around the edge. Holy that was a lot of chocolate. I don’t really like chocolate but that was a good cake! Really good. Normally I don’t eat frosting. It’s too sweet. This frosting was incredible. I saved it for last! Oh wow it was good cake.


Both of Gavin’s grandmas called to wish him a happy birthday and to tell him to check the mailbox. He loved talking to them. He needs a little more practice on the phone. The phone was never really over his ear so he kept asking my mom to repeat herself. I was trying to slide the phone in place. He didn’t seem to understand how it should all work. But he had a grin a mile wide. He loved all the love and attention on his special day.

I wish all my kids could stay 4 years old forever. They can’t. I’m not okay that Gavin is 11. Maybe if I don’t think about it everything will be fine. In the meantime I will just love him.