Today marks a bit of a milestone, as the boy is, officially, nine-and-a-half.

We have six months, to the day, until we leave the single digits behind and enter the glorious world of ten, which he believes will be as magical as visiting Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. (You know, if Willie totally had such a place in real life.) The boy didn’t forget to inform me that he only had six more months left to wait until he turned ten, and then THAT would probably be his favorite birthday ever.

You know, because ten involves two numbers, while nine is a lonely single.

I won’t bore you with all the sentimental How-Did-My-Baby-Get-To-Be-This-Old? questions, because really? I am currently suffering from the Black Death, and I cannot breathe out of my nose as it is. If I start sobbing and blubbering with sentimentality, I’ll need an oxygen mask for survival.

Because the boy is an only child, we have always done some special things to mark his half birthdays. We usually have food for dinner which consists of no nutritional value whatsoever. There’s usually a gift. Or two. But never three, because I must draw the limit somewhere. If we had multiple kiddos, we probably wouldn’t acknowledge the little mark in the time/space continuum which signified that they were six months older. But because we just have one little punk, we like to do things up right.

Today was no exception. We skipped our weekly pilgrimage to Gymnastics Land, USA, primarily because Mama (as previously mentioned) has caught the Black Death. Or the Plague. Or the Common Chest Cold. My lungs are on fire, my throat feels like it’s full of hair, and no oxygen can be drawn into my nasal cavity at all. My throat is raspy, my eyes are watery, and really…Mama just wants to go to bed, under the medical care of Dr. NyQuil.

But alas, we skipped gymnastics, which opened up an entire evening to us, so we ventured out for a little floor hockey practice, and then I took the boy and his buddy, Kellen, swimming. The boys splashed and splashed, and they sucked in pool water and spit it all over one another, and called it Great Fun, until Mama caught their attention from the pool deck by waving her arms like someone attempting to guide an airplane landing on an aircraft carrier, and made the “Stop-Spitting-On-One-Another-This-Very-Instant-Before-I-Make-Your-Lives-Quite-Unpleasant” motions. Amazingly, the boy and Kellen understood my sign language perfectly.

Why do nine year olds with Y chromosomes entertain one another by spitting chlorinated water into each other’s faces? If I live to be Methuselah’s age, I will still not have lived long enough to understand this.

After swimming, the boy was blessed with a couple of presents from Hubs and me. One gift was a new Lego set, because our tub of Legos at home is only the size of a Hyundai and weighs eight pounds more than their biggest luxury car. Clearly, we simply don’t have enough plastic brick pieces at our house.

The other gift was something that the boy has been asking to get for a couple of months now.

Michael Jackson’s Thriller CD.

Hello, 1983. My, but I’ve missed you.

A couple of months ago, the boy spent the night with his friend, Carter, and he came home proclaiming, “Mom, Carter showed me the very scariest video I have ever seen in my life! It’s about zombies, and it’s called Thriller. Mom, I hate that video.”

A week later, the boy came home from school and proclaimed, “Mom, my favorite song in the entire world is Thriller. Carter and I have been singing it all day to ourselves! I can’t get that tune out of my head; I just love it so much!”

Clearly, our issues with the video still exist, and the boy has announced that he loves the song, although he won’t be watching it anytime soon.

Then, fast forward to last weekend, when my friend, Jodi, took the boy rollerskating (at our local, very dirty roller rink), and he came home and yelled, “Guess what? That guy who sings Thriller also sings a song called Beat It, and it’s fantastic, and they played it at the roller rink!” Thank you, Jodi, for exposing my son to roller rink germs and classic pop music.

And also, I loved the terminology there: That guy who sings Thriller. Oh, what was his name? It’s on the very tip of my tongue…

Eventually, Thriller was downloaded onto the boy’s iPod, and he has been walking around the house with his headphones on, singing the words in his off-key voice. My junior high days all flashed back in vivid detail, and I envisioned searching eBay for a little acid washed denim jacket for the boy to wear.

Tonight, as we were driving home, we stuffed the boy’s new CD into the Suburban’s stereo, pounded the buttons until Beat It played, and then…


Hubs and I bopped our heads back and forth in the front seat, until we looked like Steve and Doug Butabi, from A Night at the Roxbury.


…we also elevated our voices to an abnormally high pitch, and Hubs and I sang Beat It for all we were worth, as loudly as we could.

I had no idea that Hubs could sing such beautiful soprano.

The boy, meanwhile, rode in the backseat of the Suburban, staring at his parents. Listen, people. I’m pretty sure that Hubs and I officially embarrassed our boy with our behavior for the first time, ever. It was a golden moment in time.

It’s because he’s nine-and-a-half and all, and he no longer finds it amusing when his parents are bopping their heads back and forth and squealing, “They told him don’t you ever come around here; Don’t wanna see your face, you’d better disappear; The fire’s in their eyes and their words are really clear; So beat it; Just beat it.” I mean, at nine, the boy wouldn’t have thought anything of this, but at nine-and-a-half, he was clearly worried about us.

And then he said, “I can’t believe that you guys know all the words to this song.”

I replied, “Oh, sweetheart. Not only can Mama and Daddy sing all the words, but ask your Daddy about the red leather jacket he had in high school.”

Hubs shouted out, “I NEVER had a red leather jacket! Never!”

Uh-huh. Whatever, Hubs.

At any rate, welcome back, 1983. It’s good to see you again.

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