Friday, January 16, 2009
Leif's 5th Birthday - Sachsen Bei Ansbach, Germany - January 28, 1980 - Age 5
Leif's fourth and fifth birthdays were spent in Sachsen bei Ansbach, Germany, where we lived in a lovely, new house and Leif went to the German Kindergarten. He had German friends and one good American friend, Erin. We celebrated a small birthday party for Leif's fifth birthday, and this photo was taken in the dining area of our home.
Five is a wonderful age. Like most five-year-olds, Leif was sweet, mostly cooperative, curious, eager, and active, in a word, precious. He looked so innocent and lovable.
Leif looked up to his older brother and learned a lot from him, copied him in some ways. It was just a few months before this birthday that Peter A. got the idea to do a comedy show. He took the lead and Leif was right there adding to the act. We have a hilarious home movie of it, but home movies in those days were soundless, so it kind of like a kiddie version of the Keystone Cops.
Leif was never very forthcoming in talking about his feelings or fears, though he was vocal enough about what he wanted for his birthday or Christmas. He never complained and said he didn't want to go to the Kindergarten, and he picked up German so fluently and with such a local accent that he could have passed for any German kid in the village, but I don't think he ever felt completely at home in the school, being the only American. He really loved his teacher the first year he was there and missed her greatly the second year when she was on maternity leave.
The two years in Sachsen were a good time for our family, and this fifth birthday was the beginning of a year I will remember with great fondness.
Happy fifth birthday, Leif.
(A bit of confusion . . . Pete W. points out that there are only 4 candles on the cake. I noticed that, too. But, this photo in the album is clearly labeled on the back as Leif's 4th birthday. So, either I wrote it down wrong at the time, which seems odd, or I took a candle off the cake before taking the picture, or something.)