I love Legos. So do my grandchildren, especially Liam. For his birthday we got him a superhero Lego set which featured Superman, Batman complete with Bat Mobile and Bat Cave, and ultimate bad guy Lex Luthor. The box said for ages 4 – 7 and since he was turning 4 I figured Liam would be able to help Grandpa and I whip the set together.
But first the birthday cake and balloon. I picked him up early on Friday afternoon and we stopped at the store. He selected a red Mickey Mouse balloon, as excited about that as if it were his gift. As a surprise I had ordered him a cake topped with a race track and Mario Kart figures Mario and Luigi. The chef brought out the cake box and let us look inside. Liam eyes got as big around as his balloon and a huge smile lit his face. From then on he carefully watched over the cake box from his seat in the grocery cart, admonishing me often to “Be careful, Grandma.” We let the checkout clerk have a viewing also and she was appropriately impressed.
Liam was quite concerned that I placed the cake in the trunk of the car instead of on the back seat beside him. But we had only a few blocks to go and I knew that the cake riding in the flat secure space would be better than on the slanted seat only inches away from a very excited birthday boy.
Arriving home we immediately checked on the cake, Liam anxiously clutching his balloon string. I gently lifted it out and prayed that Pete the cat would not decide to dart between my legs as I carried it from garage to dining table. Cake box safely on the table, we opened it and slid out the cake tray. Both of us wanted a piece right then so I grabbed a couple of dessert plates and forks and cut two small pieces. Oh to be 4 and enjoy cake and icing the way that boy does! That was not the first time that weekend that he would have smears of blue icing and chocolate cake on that sweet face.
Saturday was his birthday, and while I was more than willing to have cake early and often, I told him we had to wait until his birthday day to open presents. He was amazingly patient about it, although he asked frequently if it was time to open presents yet. But he settled down to a bedtime story after bath time and was soon asleep.
The next morning I was just waking up when I heard his feet hit the floor. He quietly came to our room, stood by the edge of the bed and said, “Grandma, it’s morning, time to wake up.” I coaxed him to join me under the covers for a few minutes since Pete was on the bed and willing to be petted. Liam is a gentle soul and cats know gentle. The memories I hope I retain the longest are those morning moments when grandchildren are 3 or 4 and love to snuggle close and whisper what is on their minds. Sweet hands pat my face or my arm and large sincere eyes look into mine with trust and love.
Pete finally jumped off the bed, ready for breakfast, and Liam and I decided to have a bite as well. We let Grandpa sleep a few extra minutes while I made coffee and Liam checked the decorated dining table to make sure the presents were still there. While Grandpa made breakfast tacos, Liam had some cereal and a small piece of cake – it was his birthday after all.
Finally it was time. Unwrapping his gifts he discovered two unique puzzles and the Lego set. Legos won out and immediately he wanted to put it all together. We cleared the table and began to read the instructions.
Grandpa had the task of assembling Lex Luthor and tank while we put together Superman and springboard then Batman. The Bat Mobile was incredibly cool with all the accessories, as was the Bat Cave, complete with weapons, computer desk and chair, high tech devices and a red phone to call the commissioner. I was sort of surprised that full assembly took us almost an hour since the box said ages 4 – 7, but we did it. Liam wanted to be Batman, I was Superman and Grandpa was Lex. Let the battles begin.
With Grandpa there are always amazing sound effects, lots of crashing and bashing and countdowns and strategy – everything a little boy could love. Lex gave it his best shot but as always, Batman won. He didn’t really need Superman but I stood at the ready just in case. Lex Luthor’s tank rolled across the dining table one last time before Batman raced over and crushed him. Batman wins again.
We celebrated with another piece of cake. More blue icing and chocolate crumbs. Best birthday ever.