When I told him I hoped he would have an extraordinary ninth birthday, this is not what I meant. Normally we’d take a big chunk of the day to head over to the local arcade and play old video games together, then go somewhere special for a birthday dinner. That’s all on hold – even some of his presents are coming late this time around.

And yet we’re still finding lots of reasons to smile today, mostly about how he’s such an extraordinary guy. He’s always coming up with clever ideas and sharing interesting facts with the rest of the group – building, reading, playing, laughing and growing. And, thank heavens, this is the first birthday in a while where I haven’t had a request to design a birthday cake! He asked only for chocolate, and that worked pretty well for everybody.

Happy birthday to you, nine year old!

Nine year old and his birthday cake