Thursday, April 14, 2016


I’m not going to get all weepy about Elijah turning nine. Nine is awesome. Nine is great. Nine totally doesn’t serve as a reminder of my mortality.

Eli is one of the smartest kids I know. He tailored his birthday list in a way to appeal to both his parent’s passions (educational junk and violent video games), so he got maximum presents.

He also referenced Hamann family birthday traditions that I’m not sure exist:

“Since it’s my birthday, I get to choose where we go for dinner tonight.”

“Since it’s my birthday, I get unlimited screens for the week.”

“Since it’s my birthday, I get to hit Luca in the face as much as I want.”

“Since it’s my birthday, I get to smoke cigarettes.”

In the end, we opted out of cigarettes, but took Eli and the neighbors to The Little Mexican Café and allowed him to choose his own guacamole toppings (his secret ingredient is avocado).

He also managed to talk his way into opening up all his presents last night instead of on his actual birthday. “I just don’t want you to have to wake up early on my account.”

I demanded we immediately put all his new kid cooking supplies into the dishwasher. Diana said, “Okay, Howard Hughes.”

I granted Eli a special bedtime “Be With.” As I lay at his side I held his hand and said, “Happy birthday, my special guy. You are a really terrific kid, you know that? You are funny and kind and smart and everyone loves you.”

He sleepily said, “I know, Daddy.”

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