Saturday, January 7, 2017

Hector's 7th birthday

Today was Hector's 7th birthday. I have no little boys any more. None. All gone. Now they are on their way to being men. First little ones then big ones. I didn't make Hector go to school today. I decided to take him to SnowPark in the Torium AVM on the other side of Istanbul. We traveled 38 km on public transport to get to this curious place that I had been wondering about. When I wonder about something, it nags at me. Then I have a premonition every once in a while of me a few years into the future wondering why I never went to "that" place while I had the chance. My life isn't that busy and its not like I'm going to live in Turkey for my whole life. Taking advantage of these opportunities seems to always be on the back burner. Well, today was the perfect opportunity to go. Just Hector and me and five free hours.
We arrived before it opened and were ready when it finally did. It turned out to be a very small space with very controlled activities. It was fun for Hector but I was used to much more excitement and injuries when it comes to sledding. We paid for a maximum of 40 minutes, 20 of actual tubing and 20 of free time to explore the snowy space. It was kind of annoying that half of the time there was a photographer there telling us to do certain things for a good pic. Hector never puts his hands in the air and smiles. Why would I want this staged photo? At first I encouraged Hector to play along but finally I just stood there waiting. The guy was floored at the idea that Hector didn't want to hug the fake penguin or sit on the tree stump and smile. "No! He doesn't! We paid for a snow park, not a photo shoot buddy!" Hector and I played together and went down every slide there was (there were 3 types). It was enjoyable and affordable. The photo situation was annoying but it makes sense considering we are in Istanbul where many people find pleasure in taking selfies. I wouldn't take any kid aged 8 or older there. It was too tame. Glad I found out before I dragged everyone there for a family outing.
We boarded the metrobus, a guy snuggled up against my backside for part of the ride (super uncomfortable!), got off and boarded a different bus, got back to Sogutlucesme just in time to pick up Cinci from school. When we got home Sherman and Atticus had decorated the house and blown up balloons for Hector's birthday and they were hiding, waiting to surprise Hector. Sherman even set up a treasure hunt with clues for Hector. It was so sweet and really demonstrated how the older brothers care about Hector even though a lot of the time he annoys them.
I made a German chocolate cake for Hector, at his request, but he didn't like it so much. Now he knows that he doesn't like that kind. I loved it. All the ingredients were expensive. I stayed up until 2 AM preparing his cake. With Jonathan in Lebanon right now, its important that I do all I can to make birthdays and holidays special. Hector wanted to play video games for the rest of his birthday. So, I did it and I felt like Hector was happy on his special day.
Hector has had a hard time in school this past year. He struggles with the violent atmosphere at school. Turks are very verbal and very aggressive. Hector is verbal but not assertive. He has learned a lot of Turkish but still has a lot to learn, like problem solving words and sentences. He loves his mommy and I'm so happy he's my kid. He's so tender and sweet with me. He always says sorry if he thinks he's hurt me. If I ask him if he likes the food I made and he doesn't, he says, "Well, I don't like it that much, but I still love you Mom."
I'll always remember the time when he used to say, "Mom, I love you and you love me," like it was some revelation he'd received and wanted to share it with me. He was probably two years old. The best hugger of all my kids. I love Hector for always!

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Very sweet post! Happy Birthday Hector!