Every birthday with him was precious and special. We didn't miss many in his life, only the ones when he was in the army. A long time ago in this blog I posted a photo of each of his birthdays for which we had pictures, but of course not all the pictures. How I wish we had better ones!
This photo was taken the day before his second birthday, at Rocking Horse Country Day School in Charlottesville, Virginia. The kids baked cupcakes and had them with their lunch. Leif, ever the little experimenter, was quite interested in the texture of the cupcake and had to stick his finger in it.
He was still a little blondie at that point. I wonder why it is that many children are blond when they are small and their hair darkens as they get older. By the time Leif was in junior high school, his hair was very dark brown.
In the background you can see the "art wall." Rocking Horse Country Day School had a wall that the kids could draw and color on, post their art projects on, and in general do all the things kids would LIKE to do to walls but aren't supposed to. I thought it was a brilliant idea. They were very good about doing their drawing and scribbling only on THAT wall and not the others. I know it would be hard to give kids a wall like that at home, but maybe hanging a whiteboard or something where they could draw and scribble on the "wall" to their hearts content would help keep them from doing it elsewhere.
Leif hadn't been going to this school for long when this was taken. It was unusual for a day school to take a child that young, but there were several two-year-olds there, probably because their parents needed to find a place they could thrive, too. It was a Montessori school, and it was wonderful for Leif. He was so bright that no matter how much attention and enrichment I gave him at home, it wasn't enough. He was frustrated. When we found the school, he took to it as though he had been searching for it. I will always be grateful to Linda J. for accepting him there.
Today I wish my son a happy birthday. He's not here to celebrate it, but I will remember his birthday, this year and every year.