Sunday, March 10, 2013

toi qui grandis tous les jours

Yep, his shirt says "Star of Mom's blog."  I bought it in purple so that Gwyneth can wear it in three years too.

Joyeux anniversaire, Griffin, mon amourson.  You're five years old now!  Just look at how grown-up you are:
  • You read long books in English and short books in French (and listen to stories in Spanish at your immersion preschool four days a week--and your teacher reports that you're starting to speak Spanish when playing with your classmates!).
our little bibliophiles (a common sight at our house)
  • You write thank-you notes, captions for your drawings, and signs for your bedroom door.
"You can't come in here unless you are four or older" (though he adds that Gwyneth and his cousin Ellie can enter "if they are holded up")
  • You have a decent command of the simile ("Gwyneth's eyes are like blue olives, Mom, except they're not olives").
and olives aren't blue
  • You shovel snow and sweep the kitchen floor and wipe your splatters of pipi off the toilet. (You're welcome, Griffin's Future Girlfriends!).
I just realized that his snow shovel is taller than him.
  • You can concentrate on an activity--like your favorite magnetic mosaic game--for over an hour at a time (although, on the other hand, you frequently get distracted when sent to brush your teeth or get dressed, and we find you naked from the waist down, poring over a book on your bedroom floor, or playing with bathtub toys in the sink).
the afore-mentioned magnetic mosaic game, another common sight chez nous
  • You love board games and card games, and even play by yourself during "quiet time." (I found you sobbing one afternoon beside the Chutes and Ladders board, holding two game pieces, distraught because "the red guy won!")  And see that book you're reading on your bed in the photo up there?  The book is about chess moves.
This photo has nothing to do with board games.  But you'll understand why I had to include it!
  • You can sing in tune and in a round, keep a beat, dance like a rocket, and turn anything into a percussion instrument.
Outdoor summer concert--Griffin climbed up on a speaker directly in front of the singer and started dancing.
  • You find such joy in life, from making your baby sister laugh to asking for "honey bubbles" in the bath to zooming your scooter down the sidewalk to eating Pirate Booty with gusto to watching the Broncos with Daddy to playing hide-and-seek.  All. The. Time.  And yet you discover new places to hide!
Yep, he's cute and he knows it.
But you're not so grown-up that you refuse to snuggle or let us read to you or comfort you when you cry.  And you're not always polite or cooperative or tidy (not that those qualities are prerequisites for becoming an adult!).

Griffin displays his well-practiced pout.
It's yet another common sight for us.

The song that's been running through my head for the past couple of months is "Plus tard quand tu seras grand" by Aldebert.  It just wrenches my heart and turns me into a blubbering idiot, because while the song is from the point of view of a little boy who can't wait to grow up and doesn't understand why everyone tells him "you can do X when you're older," given that he grows a little each day.  Impatient--"j'attends les mains sur les hanches"--he feels like he will never be bigger.

But us adults listening to this quiet, eloquent, plaintive, believable song--we know so well that "le temps file a toute allure" and he won't be a little boy much longer.  And as glad as we are to know our little boy is growing up healthy and curious and mischievous and loving, we also know he's growing up into a world where some people do terrible things to other people, and he's going to find out about them, and we won't be able to make him feel better by cuddling or tickling him then.  We can't even guarantee that we'll be there to answer his questions.

But even though this song makes me cry, it also makes me smile.  And if listening to Aldebert sing "Plus tard quand tu seras grand" also makes me want to hug my children and treasure their childhoods, well then, play on.


  1. What a gorgeous letter for Griffin to read later on and see how very much loved he is. It certainly does whizz by... I've been reading your blog since it was just about Carl, and that seems like not very long ago! Happy Birthday to Griffin.

    1. And I've been following you since Schmoo was tiny! Lots of people have said to me about parenting that "the days are long but the years are short"--and I understand that so well now.

  2. I haven't even played the song because I'm already tearing up from reading your post and know I won't be able to manage it. What a lovely tribute to Griffin, and I know just how you are feeling as Zach turned five at the end of January and it really is a milestone, isn't it. They are so grown up and funny and interesting, but thank goodness still willing to cuddle. That quote is so true-- I hadn't heard it before but boy do I understand it. Congratulations - et bonne continuation!!

    1. Merci! Griffin's birthday is January 26--he and Zach must be almost exactly the same age, then. Do listen to the song (with a hankie handy)--it's lovely.

  3. Hello Sarah,

    I wrote to you some months ago and since then your blog helped me a lot. Your blog helped me to be more confident about raising a son in a language that I'm not native in a time I was a little bit concerned if I was doing the right thing. You blog was the first I met about this.

    In Brazil, where I live, I know just one more blog covering this subject (also in Portuguese, just like my Diario dos Papais).

    I'm writing to you now to let you know that I'm creating a community for non-native speaking parents from all over the world. The community is the website ( It's much than a forum, since it has social networking tools like friendship and messages. It's a place for us to share our experiences, make new friends, and there is also a place where bloggers can post their links.

    I want this to be a place where we can exchange our positive thoughts and knowledge, since it's hard to find friends doing the same but it's so easy to find someone with negative opinion about it.

    This website is in English.

    Best regards,


    1. Hello again, Mario! I'm looking forward to exploring the forums on your website--you've got some great discussion questions and info there. Thanks for sharing!

    2. Thank you Sarah, for your reply. I hope to hear your voice there since you can help a lot of people with your experience. By the way, I created a forum where you can promote your blog posts, starting one topic for every post.

  4. Okay, so ten days later, I finally added photos to this post to illustrate Griffin's activities over the year!