The big O turned 9 this week. NINE. Amazing, right? Finn is 6 in another few weeks. How did that happen?
Owen’s birthday fell the Saturday of a four-day weekend (one that in fact turned into 9 days off of school) so it would have been a great weekend to take the boys out tiger-fishing at the Lower Zambezi River-- how we celebrated last year. Unfortunately, the bwana was traveling and wouldn’t be back until Saturday afternoon....and school was closed b/c of uncertain about how the elections would go. Would their be rioting? Violence? Trouble in outlying areas? We had to stay put.
He carefully crafted a small list of boys whom we invited after school on friday --would they get along with eachother? would they like to come over and goof around with science experiments? Can they come? One of his closest friends is Muslim and leaves school early every day to get to mosque -- his mom briefly considered bringing him over after but they live on the other side of town and like many people, were reluctant to be out and about if there was any risk of getting caught in a riot or demonstration.
So, this left him with 5 friends plus finny.... they had four big bottles of vinegar, three bottles of coke and a few packets of mints, two boxes of baking soda, balloons, and anything else they ‘needed’ to blow stuff up or make mad science concoctions (ooblek, anyone?). The boys mixed their own sodas to drink, experimented with rasperry jello, swam and generally mucked about all afternoon. They made ice cream sundaes and munched on chips and ate fruit. It was really fun and mellow.
The next day was the ‘family’ party. Family here includes our friends and perhaps a bit embarassingly to him, a GIRL from his grade, two in fact. I suspect that we needed two b/c there was no way he could invite THOSE BOYS and THOSE GIRLS and have it turn out OK.
I’m quite happy with the fact that he continues to have girl friends. Not “girlfriends” of course, b/c the kid is only just turned 9. Unlike some of his classmates he doesn’t flinch when the teachers pair him up for projects with a girl. And, equally wonderful is that the girls don’t get all goofy and squirmy when they get paired up with O. It’s nice.
Maybe it’s the hair. He’s like a boy ambassador with those golden locks.