Monday, April 4, 2011


Six years ago (well, five years, three-hundred and sixty-four days, really), I was given a baby brother, a best friend and the funniest kid I've ever had the chance to meet. On April 5th, 2005 (while I was eating a just-delivered pizza in the hallway), Aiden Missouri Lake was born. Today, he turns six years old. Six years is somewhere between such a short time and such a long term but looking at how quickly Aiden's grown, it seems like it must have been shorter than I thought.
So much has changed in six years (and not just digital photo quality). Aiden's grown from onsies to size 5 camoflauge pants. From binkies and hippopotomus print blankets to toy army men and playing battleship. His nickname's changed from "little it" to "aiders" to "taider-tot". Every year has been different.

First, it was trains. Aiden and I would watch every Thomas the Tank Engine DVD we could find. It'd be torture to pull him from the model train table at Toys R Us. (Yet, he never played with the one I bought and assembled for him throughout the night for Christmas) Then, firetrucks. lae'd go to the grocery store in a coat and boots. Ladder 49 played on repeat. He'd climb to the window sill at the sound of every siren. Now? Well. It's army. It's torture. I love him anyway.

As for the last year? Well, let me tell you about it.

This year, Aiden fell in love with the Backstreet Boys. It's all he will listen to in the car. He knows every word, sings along and has choreographed dances, too. In July, we will both be going to our first BSB concert - together.

Aiden is also an avid Beatles fan. Not only does he have two Beatles t-shirts of his own, but he often wears mine. He thinks nothing is funnier than the fact that he can wear my t-shirts. In fact, tonight we were going through his clothes and he says "Jen, it's so funny that I can wear your shirts. We're like the same size clothes but different size bodies. Just don't try to wear my underwear." Wise kid.

All I wanted this night was a picture of Aiden and I together. I stretched my arms and tried, but everytime the shutter clicked - he drank his hot chocolate. After picking on him about it for a half an hour, he started acting silly and tried to climb underneath my camera. It's one of my favorite pictures of him - ever. 
Out of focus but it captures Aiden, perfectly.

Aiden is very conscientious about his hair style. Every morning he combs it into place with a little bit of gel. Somedays it's different than others. A few months ago, he insisted on this terrible bowl cut and has loved it ever since.

He's an incredible writer, and now reader, too. I love seeing him spell words, read my blog over my shoulder and write fairy tales. What I don't love? His incessant need to read every road sign we pass. "Speed Limit 35" "Bridge May Be Slippery" "JEN! The sign said Speed Limit 35 and you have to be going like 37 right now." Thank you, Aiden.

In the picture to the right, Aiden is painting christmas ornaments for Kasey. I love that Aiden has taken such an interest in the fight against pediatric cancer, in Kasey, in THON and in simply helping others. Tonight he asked me how he can donate his old books to kids who need them. He also collects change for THON and is always making fun things for me to take to Kase. Kids helping kids; it's a great thing.

There are few things more precious than puppies. Aiden with puppies? That's one of them. He's so good with the little guys and constantly checks up on the puppies who have since gone to new owners. He also makes sure the dogs are fed and watered - more responsibility than I have with pets, perhaps. 

When he grows up, Aiden plans to be an engineer and maybe a Penn Stater, too. He draws blueprints every day of hotel cruise ships, Army baracks, a tenative backyard bunker and anything else he can think of. Sometimes, he assembles his ideas with blocks and tests their stability in earthquakes and bomb scenarios... He's only six, I swear.

Hey Aiden, thanks for not pelting my camera with that snowball you had rolled that day.

The other day, Aiden dropped something on the floor and yelled "DAMN!" at the top of his lungs. He immediately turned around, rolled his eyes at me and said "I meant like the beaver" before walking away.

Despite Aiden's claims that his big brother is mean, rotten or just plain dumb - I love seeing them together. Aiden is a mini-Sean and always has been.. probably always will be. Brotherly love is its finest between them, especially this past winter.


This is Aiden's "AW C'mon" face, its a classic. Trust me, it was preceeded with a vocalized "aw, c'mon" - one of Aiden's many catchphrases.

As much as I whine about dragging Aiden everywhere with me, taking him to school each day or about him stealing my iPhone - I could never get tired of that face.

So, to sum it all. Happy Birthday to my favorite little boy in the world. Thanks for all the laughs, smiles, temper-tantrums and silly moments this year. I can't wait to spend a million more with you (give or take a few). I hope that your sixth birthday brings you Netflix and building blocks, brownie treats and a fabulous day. I hear that being six is the cool thing to do these days, so thanks for letting me be a part of it. Now, get out there and shake it up, kiddo.

I love you. Always.

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