Monday, July 31, 2006

Little Man turns 6

As I tucked our little guy into bed last night, it occurred to me that this would be the last time I'd be tucking him in as a five-year-old. Six years ago today, we welcomed Noah Mayer Gideon Levy into the world.

As I quietly kissed his sleeping head and tried to commit the moment to memory, I couldn't get over how fast time he has grown. He was, it seems, just born. He has always been our baby. The fact that I was tucking in an almost-six-year-old represented a pretty significant disconnect in my mind.

To mark this momentous event in a little guy's life, we filled our home with family and friends, then took him to The Little Gym nearby, where he and his friends ran around for a while before filling themselves up with cake and other complex sugars.

He wore that smile you see in this photo for pretty much the entire day. He's already a cuddly boy, regularly walking up to Mom and Dad for an impromptu hug or kiss. He'll whisper "I love you, Mom/Dad" with that sweet little boy's voice just before he throws his arms around whatever part of our body is closest.

As the baby of the family, his milestones are particularly tough on me and my wife (see my post from his fifth birthday.) We realize that we'll never have a five-year-old again. Last week, he protested for the first time in his life that he's not a baby. He's right. But still, a little part of us feels a tiny tug inside as we wish he'd slow down his headlong rush to catch up with his older brother and sister. Not forever, of course. Just long enough for us to enjoy and appreciate our youngest son for a little bit longer.

But time, as I've noted before in this space, moves in only one direction, and at only one velocity. We can't change this basic fact. We can only make the most of the journey.

I hope his party, surrounded by everyone who loves him, was a fun and memorable point along his charmed journey. I hope today, when he wakes up to a house decorated from top to bottom with balloons and signs by his Mom, that he continues to appreciate just how much he is treasured by everyone who knows him. May he enjoy countless more milestones as he grows into the person he is destined to be.

Happy birthday, little man.

Your turn: How do you uniquely mark a child's birthday?

19 comments:

Pickalish said...

I started a happy birthday book for Simon on his 1st birthday. I always write him a letter, hitting the highlights of that particular year, and any special memories or thoughts I have. A journal of sorts. I add to it a picture of him at his party, and any other clippings, etc. of importance that happened regarding him....I hope someday he appreciates it. He, too, turned 6 this year...and it was by far the most reflective/melancholy/bittersweet birthday yet. Where does the time go?

queen of light and joy said...

It was Drew's birthday today too. Carmi, we have so much in common.

Sharon said...

Happy Birthday, Noah!

My kids like to celebrate their birthdays with a big banner and a (homemade) giant, chocolate chip cookie. I write their names on the cookie with chocolate frosting.

We've tried other celebrations (big parties, outings, etc.,) but for some reason, the kids like the big cookie and the at-home party with family the best. :)

Jennifer said...

It is tough isn't it. Watching them grow. My oldest will be six in May. I dread the day that my baby turns six.

We fill the house with family and friends and baloons and do our best to make each birthday memorable :)

Happy Birthday Noah :)

Jef said...

Every child enjoys a party, cake, and presents, but when all is said and done, I think showing a child what a loving parent does is the greatest gift. Not only will the child grow up feeling secure and blossom, but he or she will lead by your example with their children.

Laughter is good, too. A child can have too much sugar, but never too much laughter.

Maybe even a new Bananarama CD, too.

Karen said...

I make a huge obnoxious deal out of my kids' birthdays. I especially enjoy embarassing them at restaurants, etc. I hold birthdays very sacred and am very impatient with people that send e-cards or put little effort into celebrating a loved one's birthday. To me, a birthday is the most special day of the year for someone and from waking up to going to sleep, it should be absolutely perfect, if possible. And even though my kids are teens, I still try and surprise them with gifts that are unexpected.

I'm a total, unadulterated birthday geek!

Happy birthday Noah!!

Morah Mommy said...

I always try to make everyones birthday special. I think that every person is entitled to at least one day a yearwhere they can feel special... King or Queen for the day.

As you know....the house is decorated with ballons, posters and CARS paraphernalia. I just want Lovebug to happy and feel loved and special

Sandy said...

Aww! Happy Birthday Noah. Carmi - he's the spitting image of you. At least in this photo. Do you agree?

To mark my children's birthdays I take black and white photos. We select the best of the bunch and frame it for our hallway "gallery." It's become a neat way to mark their grow in the unique way black and white photos tends to capture the little minute details.

Oh and we go a little nutty with the big day - party (on or near), special dinner, family day trip - whatever we can pull off.

Miss Cow is a Cow said...

Oh god I cannot even think about my chicklet turning 6. Oy vey.

For his first birthday we had a party at the house, this year we did separate parties since we are divorcing.

Chicklet refused to eat his cake this year. He only wanted the m&m's off of it.

keda said...

oh he looks so beautiful!

what a wonderful bittersweet post. it is hard to kiss the young baby years goodbye isn't it?!

but then everyday with them is a joy.
sigh..

lovely. thank you for sharing this with us.

Shephard said...

Very sweet. Lucky boy to have a dad like you.

CanEragon said...

july 31st really??

That makes two of us celebrating a birthday today.

Happy Birthday Noah.

Cheers
Jeremy

Claire said...

Happy Birthday to Noah!! He looks like a very happy young man in that photo!

Tia said...

Having just spent some precious moments with my God Daughter in Finland I can appreciate your words about stopping time for just a moment... I wish she could stay 2.5 for us just a little longer. But, the next time we see her, she will be so much bigger...

I thought of you on our flight over and snapped a few shots through the airplane window. One o fthem is posted on my site. =)

Tara said...

Happy Birthday Noah!

Cute cake!

KaraMia said...

We've always been a small unit for the most part, not alot of big family celebrations anymore, but I still wait till he's asleep and fill the living room with balloons and happy birthday banners. I take the day off from work and we celebrate together. Later I have a party for his friends, but that first day is always ours.

It goes too fast doesn't it Carmi..

srp said...

Here from Michele.
For Nyssa's 16th, I sent paper to all her friends, family members, teachers and special people in her life and asked them to write a short letter. It could be simple Happy Birthday greetings or memories they had of her or with her. And if they had any pictures they could part with, please send. I took them and made two huge scrapbooks with their pictures and letters as well as mine. (One wouldn't hold them all as there were around 100 replies.) Then I gave them to her at a special dinner with her best friend. She erupted in tears and spent days reading all the letters. I think it was her favorite gift ever.

h&b said...

This post made my eyes all misty.
Your kids are really lucky to have such loving parents, it's darling to read :)

We've done something a bit more obscure and long-term for our firstborn ( may there be more ! ).
We moved to the suburbs and bought a house with our first big backyard.

His next birthday, and many more, will be able to be held in a large house with a large yard and lots of friends, family and love.

Best I could manage :)

Life is good - grow well and be happy, Noah !

ChaCha said...

Happy Birthday Noah